Saturday, October 16

Erdogan, on Central Europe’s support for Israel: “I curse Austria!”

Correspondent in Berlin



In a context of growing manifestations of violence against Israel in Central Europe, the President of Turkey has launched the protesters against the Government of Austria, for having raised the Israeli flag in various headquarters of State institutions as a show of support. “What the Austrian state probably wants is that Muslims pay the price for them committing genocide against Jews,” he said. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “I curse the Austrian State!”

Both the Federal Chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurz, as the foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg, both belonging to the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), have condemned the attacks on Israel from Gaza. As a show of solidarity with Israel, the Israeli flag has been hoisted at the Federal Chancellery and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vienna, a gesture justified by Schallenberg as a “Austria’s consistent stance towards terrorism” and in the fact that “both the United States and the EU classify Hamas as a terrorist group.” The Austrian government made this decision after several hundred protesters took to the streets of Vienna shouting slogans against Israel and against the Jewish people, in which the majority of the participants were part of the population of Turkish origin. Interior Minister Karl Nehammer has harshly criticized Turkey’s “inglorious” role in the Middle East conflict. In his opinion, this role “certainly does not contribute to de-escalation, but to escalation” and has accused Erdogan of “adding fuel to the fire”, after the Turkish president described Israel last week as a “terrorist state” .

Nehammer further noted that last summer there were “clear indications that Turkey had influenced the riots in Vienna-Favoriten.” At that time, sympathizers of the ultranationalist Turkish ‘Gray Wolves’ attacked a Kurdish demonstration protesting violence against women and caused riots that lasted for days. “Turkey is also now exerting influence on the demonstrations directed against Israel,” added the minister, who mentioned “the many Turkish flags that fly in the demonstrations against the Jews.”

Austrian media have published a letter from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs addressed to the Minister of the Interior Nehammer stating that “we reject and condemn the baseless statements made by the Austrian Minister of the Interior about our country and our president in relation to protests in Vienna against Israel’s atrocities». “We call on the Austrian authorities to put an end to these anti-Turkish statements, which result from purely domestic political calculations and damage Turkish-Austrian relations,” continued the letter, which denotes a serious tension in relations between the two countries.

Criticism of Biden

The Turkish president has also harshly criticized the US president Joe Biden. “Unfortunately you are making history with your bloody hands,” he said on Monday night, after charging against the Austrian government, “we are forced to say that.” Erdogan bases this attack on Biden on a $ 735 million gun sale on which there is no official information and that according to the Turkish president has “bathed the soil of Palestine with horror, pain and blood.”

Germany, also with a significant population of Turkish origin and which has also registered last week various attacks on synagogues and Jewish shopsAs well as demonstrations calling for the “extinction of the Jews”, he has warned that there will be “zero tolerance for any anti-Semitic demonstration.” The German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, has pointed out that “whoever attacks a synagogue like someone who damages Jewish symbols shows that they are not criticizing a State or a policy, but attacking, in an act of hatred, those who profess a religion.” He made these statements after the Israeli ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issachroff, urged the German authorities to guarantee the safety of the Jewish community, “increasingly threatened in the streets.” “The conflict in the Middle East has nothing to do with the Jewish community in Germany,” the diplomat has tried to underline.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert has called the rocket fire at Israel by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas “terrorist attacks with only one objective: kill people without distinction (…) And spread fear ». Angela Merkel’s government defends “Israel’s right to self-defense against these attacks.” The Chancellor herself Angela Merkel He telephoned the Israeli prime minister yesterday, Benjamin Netanyahu, to express its “solidarity” with Israel and to call for an end to the fighting “as quickly as possible”, underlining the high number of civilian casualties for both parties. Merkel strongly condemned Hamas rocket fire, while his government insists that “it will proceed decisively against protests on German soil that try to spread hatred and anti-Semitism.” On the bombings last weekend by the Israeli forces against a building that houses international media, Seibert has limited himself to saying that “journalistic work on the ground in a conflict zone is very important, but we also know that Hamas is active in highly populated areas and that it takes the civilian population hostage.

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