Reclaiming Austria: Change Comes to Central Europe

Meeting of H.C. Strache of the FPÖ (Austrian Freedom Party) with the Israeli delegation, symposium on anti-Semitism in Europe

For the last few weeks all eyes have been on the USA and the presidential election, as Donald Trump pulled off a remarkable upset against the entrenched political establishment of both parties. But change is on the way in other places, and one of them is Austria.

Heinz-Christian Strache is the leader of the FPÖ (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, Austrian Freedom Party), and Norbert Hofer is the party’s presidential candidate. Due to “irregularities” in the vote, last spring’s runoff election had to be redone, and Mr. Hofer is running again in the new election on December 4. Most polls say the race is too close to call, but Mr. Hofer seems to have a slight lead.

Below is a brief report by our Austrian correspondent AMT on these momentous events:

Reclaiming Austria: Change Comes to Central Europe

by AMT

The American people have spoken. Now it is the Austrian people’s turn.

Are we in for a surprise? Are we in for change? Are we ready for a president who will speak for Austria?

Or will the Austrians choose a president who will pander to the multicultural world elite?

Despite the fact that the Austrian president’s power cannot be compared to that of his US counterpart, as it is largely ceremonial, the starting point of the election certainly equals that of Donald Trump. Granted, Norbert Hofer is no billionaire. He is not married to a former supermodel. He resides in a quaint house in a rural area to the south of the capital city. He is a politician with commensurate experience. He has the unwavering support of his party.

However, like Donald Trump, he has been defying the relentless onslaught of the Left. Whether it is the political know-it-alls, the Hollywoods (those Austrian actors, producers and directors who emigrated from Austria and now feel compelled to secrete their disdain for anything other than socialist positions), the socialites, the countless representatives of the former conservatives, the financial aristocracy; in short, nearly the entire country has set itself against Norbert Hofer.

Why is it, then, that he won the first run of the presidential election last April? Why did he narrowly lose the (now canceled) run-off election, separated from his opponent by only 30,000 votes? Why is the race currently too close to call? Could it be that the reasons are eerily similar to the reasons the American people decided it’s time for a change?

Norbert Hofer is authentic. He is an incredibly hard-working and honest man. He tells it like it is. No surprises. He shows no disdain for the outcome of an election like his opponent does. He is no darling of the elites.

Will Norbert Hofer follow in Donald Trump’s footsteps? Given the current momentum following Brexit and Donald Trump’s (un)surprising election, there are grounds for optimism.

We will find out on December 4.

Rafael Eitan and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff

As an example of the change currently underway in Austria, the leaders of the FPÖ recently met with a delegation from Israel for a symposium on anti-Semitism in Europe. One of the members of the Israeli delegation was Rafael Eitan, who was on the team that captured Adolf Eichmann and brought him back to Israel for trial.

JLH, who translated this article from Die Presse, includes this note:

This is a short piece on Austrian conservatives and a connection to Israel. Reminiscent of the immediate decision of our new president to contact Benjamin Netanyahu. In some ways, it takes courage for gentiles to espouse the cause of Israel — even in the eyes of Jews.

The translated article:

Eichmann Hunter Visits Strache

by Oliver Pink
November 7, 2016

Rafael Eitan was the chief coordinator of the Israeli secret services Mossad and Shin Bet. He participated as a handler in the capture of Adolf Eichmann. Later he was a representative in the Knesset, and for a while even a minister. Michael Kleiner was also a member of the Knesset and today is chief of Likud’s party court. On Monday evening, the two of them were sitting in the Grand Hotel on Vienna’s Kärntner Ring — on a podium with the FPÖ.

Outside, Jewish activists were protesting. “FPÖ is learning history — hopefully their own” said one placard. On another, “In Yad Vashem mit Burschideckerl / Kosher wie ein Schinkenfleckerl.”[1] One called the FPÖ event “Hypocritical.” And writer, Doron Rabinovici said — facing a camera — that he could recognize no “honorable effort.” Now as before, he said, it has a close connection to the right extremists. “We will not be alibi-Jews.”

Inside, the hall was filled almost to the last seat — primarily with an FPÖ audience, but also some diplomats, especially from eastern European countries. The topic of the symposium was: “New Anti-Semitism in Europe.”

Ursula Stenzel, the moderator, asked the FPÖ leader Heinz Christian Strache why the FPÖ was making such an effort to be seen as a credible friend of Israel. Strache went a bit further in his answer: The November Pogroms (Kristallnacht), the official occasion for this event (the unofficial reason was the upcoming presidential election), had been the starting point for the horrifying crimes of the Holocaust. Antisemitism was still, today, “a crime against humanity.” But it is often denied or made little of. In particular leftist parties are often entries for it, especially under the cover of anti-Zionism. And there is a structural hatred for Jews and Israel being brought along by Muslim immigrants. But Strache did not intend to ignore rightist antisemitism, either.

“That speech should be published in Israel and the USA,” said Rafael Eitan. He hoped that Norbert Hofer would be the next Austrian president. And Strache the next chancellor, Michael Kleiner added later.

The two of them had come to Vienna on their own initiative — with the intermediation of FPÖ politician David Lasar. They had not been authorized by the Israeli government or Likud.

Antisemitism of Islamic provenance was their main theme. First, Eitan told about the capture of Eichmann, and then ruminated on terrorism. He believed that a police force should be created that is present in all areas from which terrorism originates. “But that is probably impossible.” Islam, he said, has dragged the Middle Ages into the present.

Norbert Hofer, too, made use of the podium. It is necessary, he said, to adopt a stance. Against too much Muslim immigration. But also against resolutions like the one from UNESCO — hashtag East Jerusalem. But we must not make the mistake of now directing the hate that was previously aimed at Jews against individual Muslims. Islam is “not a part of Austria.” But that did not mean that Muslims had no place here.

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Photo caption: The FPÖ was commemorating the November Pogroms (Kristallnacht). With two Israeli politicians. United by the common opponent: Islamic anti-Semitism.

Photo: Stanislav Jenis

1.   Yad Vashem = World Holocaust Memorial Center in Israel

Two-line doggerel, more or less:

“With a fraternity cap in Yad Vashem,
As kosher as a dish with ham.”

A reference to Strache’s 2010 visit to Israel and a none-too-subtle play on his past connection to a “rightist” fraternity.

Below is the press release about the event from the FPÖ website, also translated by JLH:

Protest against the meeting of H.C. Strache of the FPÖ (Austrian Freedom Party) with the Israelis

H. C. Strache: “Antisemitism Represents a Crime Against Humanity”

November 8, 2016

The Symposium, “Have we learned from history? New antisemitism in Europe” is intended to highlight the importance of determined opposition to antisemitism in Europe.

71 years after the liberation of the National Socialist death camps, antisemitism in Europe is on the rise. Therefore, political parties as well as civil society must show determined opposition to these extremely dangerous developments. This is the reason for yesterday’s symposium under the aegis of the FPÖ[1] Educational Institute — “Have we learned from history? New antisemitism in Europe.” The FPÖ head H. C. Strache and the FPÖ presidential candidate Norbert Hofer were guests, and confirmed in their remarks the importance of working against antisemitism.

H. C. Strache: “Antisemitism Represents a Crime Against Humanity”

Strache noted that there is clearly general recognition of the problem of the revival of antisemitism in the world, and especially in Europe. “Antisemitism, whatever form it may take, is a crime against humanity and against humaneness,” the FPÖ leader declared. The many Jewish fellow citizens murdered or driven out were a constant admonition, and remembering them is a pledge never to allow such a crime again. In this regard, there must be no ignoring Islam, whose consequences were demonstrated in the attacks in France alone, which began in January 2015 and recurred at irregular intervals.

Developments in Turkey, too, could prompt some concern about the increase of antisemitism. But the great entryway to antisemitism in Europe is the leftist parties. “Leftist parties are facilitating limitless immigration and the importation of Islamist antisemitism, aided by an allegedly Christian German chancellor who has moved incalculably far from the values of Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl,” said Strache, And that, according to Strache, is why we must oppose so much leftist dream-fulfillment. “We must not allow such ideas to gain a foothold in Europe, and that is why we must put a halt to the financing of mosques from outside the country. We must also eliminate all possible circumventions. Otherwise, it will only be a matter of time before — directed from Turkey or Qatar — anti-Jewish mutterings will be the rule instead of the exception in the mosques here.”

Hofer: “Radical Tendencies Have No Place Here”

The FPÖ presidential candidate Norbert Hofer believes there are two lessons to learn from the past. First, such hatred must no longer be allowed and, second, the hatred that was directed at the Jews must not be directed at individual Muslims. According to Hofer, Europe’s silence about this is a big mistake. “Europe has become dispirited. It is in no position to take a stance and take responsibility, even if the mainstream is speaking another language.” The problem, he says, is that the face of Europe will fundamentally change, if a course is not taken against the political developments.

As an example, Hofer mentions benefits for persons who come to Austria and can, from day one, receive transfer benefits. Austria must be able to counteract the guilt we still consciously take upon ourselves. “We can be the strong voice of Europe and take the helm. We have a responsibility to our younger generation and to the future of our land. There is no room for radical tendencies.” As elected president. he would raise his voice and fight for a free Austria as “a strong advocate against hatred and for morale.”

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1. Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs — Freedom Party of Austria

9 thoughts on “Reclaiming Austria: Change Comes to Central Europe

  1. It’s *high* time that Jews realise that right-wing parties, even if they have the occasional closet anti-semite are MUCH less of a threat to Jews than multi-culti parties that have anti-Zionism as one of their main go-tos. The common cause to make with the likes of the FPO is nearly 100%. If anything, Jews are earlier targets of Muslim antisemites than “regular” Christians are! We’re on the same side here, people! And yes, I know perfectly well how they started out. Same with Swedish SDs, or with the FN in France.

    One shouldn’t fool oneself: anti-Zionism has replaced anti-semitism only because Israel exists. They’d be right back to openly hating individual Jews otherwise. This is also why the existence of Israel matters even to Jews that don’t live there and have nothing to do with it: without it being there, guess who the next target is?

    Israelis have figured this out a lot faster than Diaspora Jews.

  2. Around 1000 CE, the Jews in Europe were largely protected by by both secular and ecclesiastical authorities. Canon law forbade the forced conversions of Jews to Christianity. Kings generally placed all of their kingdons’ Jews under royal protection; a crime committed against a Jew was tantamount to an offense against the king himself.

    As 1300 CE approached, this protecttion became lukewarm, and the popular antipathy against Europe’s Jews appears to have grown stronger during this later era. Pogroms became more common, especially sparked by the First Crusade in 1095 when there were many massacres against Jewish communities in the Rhine Valley.

    –from Philip Daileader, PhD. in the Great Course “The High Middle Ages”

    …for some reason European antipathy toward Jews became worse as time went on. Not intuitive to me.

  3. I think the whole anti-Semitism thing is a red herring.

    In the first place, you have kinetic anti-Semitism, where anti-Semites physically attack Jews. In fact, a government has the responsibility to protect all citizens from violence. It doesn’t make sense that you can put special penalties on attacking Jews. If penalties are not severe enough to prevent attacks, they need to be more severe for attacks on anyone. If the police turn a blind eye on attacks on Jews, they are obviously not doing their jobs. The solution is not another decree or law, but enforce the law that is there.

    In the second place, you have anti-Jewish sentiments and expressions. To me, the hallmark of anti-Semitism is a broad generalization: “Jews control the financial system”, which ignores the very many impoverished Jews. Of course, the label of anti-Semitism is used to shut down any discourse involving Jews as Jews, for instance discussion of the over-representation of Jews in the entertainment industry.

    But, coming from an American background, I am not at all in favor of any attempt to shut down speech that does not lead to actual violence. I have personally encountered snowflake Jews in the US who are convinced Trump is going to send the deportation police after them. I do not take their fears as justification for shutting down speech. Grow a spine. Parts of the alt-right are for sure anti-Semitic, but a muscular government, like Trump will (hopefully) construct is far better for the physical safety of Jews and everyone else than the most politically-correct regime.

    Of course, anti-Zionism is a codeword for anti-Semitism. The anti-Semitic leftists have so many effective Jewish dupes in their organizations, it is counter productive for them (for now) to be openly anti-Semitic. But, paradoxically, what really fuels their rage against Israel is not only that it is Jewish, but that it represents a mainly-white country and culture that openly and effectively protects its borders. They call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions in Israel, which gives Arabs and Muslims full citizenship with some tensions involved, while ignoring the Islamic State, which crucifies, stones, burns and beheads Christians and Yazidis: not so many Jews simply because the Jews are not in reach to them.

    I really don’t think the Jews should be treated as a special case. If they allow unimpeded Muslim immigration, the resulting anti-Semitism will be low on their list of worries. I don’t see any instance where the Jews wouldn’t be fully protected by a functioning government fulfilling its duties to protect its citizens. The real issue is the government’s responsibility to all its people; hence, my statement that the focus on anti-Semitism is a red herring.

  4. What makes the outcome of this election so important is that the candidate from the Greens (supported by all other parties), will never accept an FPÖ led government.
    As politically impotent the “Bundespräsident” (Federal President) may be, this one power he has – at least to some degree.
    He just would favour some other form of coalition (Socialists with Greens and Liberals fe.).

  5. Muslims can have a place in Austria but only if they renounce their religion. And they should not start making their own rules, nor should they expect to get benefits from a welfare system to which they have not contributed.

    Meanwhile how can we explain the new alliance, actually a continuation of a very old one, between Jews & Muslims, if they allegedly hate each other so much?

    • On the Jewish side it’s that immature Leftist kumbayah hope, “why can’t we all just get along?”. Too many leftist Christians hold the same vain hope. In the latter you have the idiocy of Chrislam. People who refuse to learn from history are determined to do it differently and are sure their niceness will save them all.

      For the Muslims it’s plain old taqiyyah. “Make nice until you’re strong enough to kill them all” – that’s the template the Profit used to good effect.

      It’s the same with the Suicidal Swedish Syndrome.

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