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Sunday, April 01, 2012

Jewish communal leader blasts Austrian vote on 'fact-finding mission'

And here I thought when they boycotted Durban III, maybe there was some change in Austria's hostile attitude about Jews and Israel. Sadly, that is apparently not the case. Last week, when the United Nations 'human rights council' voted to establish a 'fact-finding' mission about Israeli 'settlements' in Judea and Samaria, eight of the ten European countries on the council at least had enough of a conscience to abstain. Austria, which still sees itself as a victim of the Nazis rather than as the active participant they really were, was one of two European countries to vote in favor of the 'fact-finding' mission (the other was Belgium). Maybe they feared that a no vote or an abstention would disturb their massive trade with Iran. But in any event, the local Jewish community is furious.
Oskar Deutsch, who was elected in late February, is the first Austrian-born president after the Holocaust, of the roughly 8,000-member Jewish community. He told the daily Die Presse on Thursday that Austria allows itself to be misused from the “agitation” of states who “themselves violate human rights on a daily basis.”

The 36-to-1 vote resulted in Austria aligning itself with such countries as China, Russia, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, which, according to human rights groups, engage in anti-democratic behavior and trample over civil liberties. The US was the only democracy to vote against the resolution.

As a result of the vote, Israel pulled the plug last week on its cooperation with the UNHRC.

Israel summoned the Ambassadors of Belgium and Austria to file formal complaints to their governments about their countries’ votes.

Anne Bayefsky, a leading international legal authority on the United Nations and human rights, issued a micro-blog on Twitter after the vote blasting both EU countries. She wrote, “Austrian & Belgian anti-Semites prevail as states break ranks with EU over UNHR Council settlements resolution.”

According to the Die Presse article, Deutsch, the head of the Austrian Jewish community, sees a slanted anti-Israel voting record by Austria and called for more “balance” toward the Jewish state. He added that there is a “continuity” at work, since Austria voted to include the PLO as a state representative at the UNESCO vote in Paris.

Deutsch noted the Palestinians “do not yet have a state” and “given Austria’s past, it would be better if Austria remained neutral in connection with the votes.”

Traditionally, Austria proclaims a neutral foreign policy, but has targeted the Jewish state over the last few months in international forums.
Read the whole thing.

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At 6:19 PM, Blogger josef said...

As an Austrian, I'm ashamed.
I'll make a complaint to my
local MP


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