A meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in New York on Wednesday evening further confirmed the latter’s commitment to battling all forms of antisemitism. The conversation took place at a reception hosted by Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, in his own gallery building displaying a collection of works by Austrian painters Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt.
The chancellor briefed Netanyahu on the steps taken by the Austrian government and parliament to reflect their appreciation of the Jewish community, the memory of the Holocaust and the struggle against antisemitism, including the closure of the journal Die Aula, which is associated with the far-right Freedom Party of Austria.
The chancellor said Austria is committed to fighting antisemitism, not only in its own country but throughout Europe, and that he intends to urge the leaders of the European Union to fight antisemitism, as reported Thursday by The Jerusalem Post’s sister publication Maariv.
Austria is currently the rotating president of the European Union’s council. The chancellor noted he will soon convene a special European conference in Vienna to combat old-fashioned antisemitism, meaning Christian antisemitism, in addition to “current and future” antisemitism – a nod to Islamic hostility against Jews.
The two leaders also discussed regional challenges and the need to curb Iranian aggression in the region and in the world.