New Austrian Government Strategy Aims to ‘Recognize, Name, and Fight Anti-Semitism’

A police vehicle is seen in Vienna, Austria.

January 24, 2021

A new national strategy for quelling rising anti-Semitism was presented to top Austrian government officials on Thursday.

“Even though it is impossible to undo the atrocities of the past, the Austrian government is trying to fulfill its historical responsibility and will do anything it takes in order to protect Jewish life and culture,” the strategy document says. “For that reason, it is of utmost priority for the Austrian government to take further measures in order to guarantee security and safety for Jewish citizens and classify combating all forms of anti-Semitism an important pillar of its work.”

The plan includes bolstering security at synagogues, expanding education about Judaism, and strengthening laws against anti-Semitic hate crimes.

“The aim is to recognize, name, and fight anti-Semitism,” Austria’s Federal Minister of European Affairs Karoline Edtstadler tweeted.

Oskar Deutsch — president of the Federal Association of Jewish Religious Communities in Austria — said the new strategy “makes explicit that the fight against antisemitism is not primarily the task of the Jewish community, but of the entire nation.”

In 2019, there were 550 anti-Semitic incidents in Austria — double the number a half-decade ago.