Monday, November 26, 2012

Vienna: Joint leftist/Islamist pro-Palestinian demonstration calls for 'death to Jews'

(JPost) Anti-Israel demonstrators gathered on Friday in the heart of Vienna, protesting Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense and chanting slogans calling for the murder of Jews and bashing the Jewish state.

Israel’s eight-day military operation to stop Hamas rocket fire from entering the country prompted two fiercely anti-Israel protests in the Austrian capital.

Samuel Laster, an Israeli journalist who lives in Vienna, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that he heard a contingent of 15 to 20 Austrian Islamists chanting in Arabic, “Death to the Jews.”

Laster first reported on the call to eliminate Jews on his website die juedische (“the Jewish”).

Speaking from Vienna by phone, he told the Post that a “mix of Austrian leftist radical extremists and Islamists” appeared at the protest. He estimated that at least 400 anti-Israel protesters, including Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood members and Palestinians, took part in the demonstration.

The demonstrators marched to the federal chancellor’s office.

The anti-Israel activists yelled “Freedom for Palestine” and “Down with Israel,” and a group of Austrian Muslims blasted repeatedly in Arabic “Death to the Jews.” Laster said the Austrian authorities, including the domestic intelligence agency (Verfassungschutz), must increase their efforts to combat “Islamic extremism.” He criticized the lax approach of Austrian police officials who waved off the anti-Jewish rhetoric as merely a protest against Israel. [...] reported that a large segment of the protesters were of Turkish and Arabic descent and yelled “Allahu akbar.”

The Palestinian and Syrian communities in Vienna helped organize the rally during the IDF’s operation against Hamas in Gaza.