Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Jews Quit Austria's Social Dem Party

The anti-Israeli resolution coupled with rising anti- Semitism in Austria triggered Stern and other Jews to pull the plug on their party memberships.

Samuel Laster, the editor-in- chief of the Vienna-based online Jewish news site Die Jüdische, first published Stern’s resignation letter on his Web site. Stern has been a leading member of the Social Democrats since the 1970s.

After the letter appeared on Die Jüdische, the daily Die Presse newspaper headlined a story, “SPÖ loses Jewish members.”

Stürzenbecher told the Post that Stern “overreacted” to the criticism of Israel, which is “balanced and in the mainstream of Europe’s reaction” to the raid on the Mavi Marmara.

“Our Jewish friends were not enthusiastic about the resolution,” Stürzenbecher added. He declined to comment on how many Austrian Jews have left the party.

“Each resignation is too much,” he said.

Stern wrote in his resignation letter: “We find it to be a scandal when ‘comrade” [Omar] al-Rawi and other Social Democratic [city] council members introduce such a resolution, which promotes solidarity with the sworn enemies of Israel – the FPÖ [Freedom Party of Austria] and neo-Nazis, and
not one voice of reason is raised against the resolution, at least from our own ranks.”

More on this later.