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August 31, 2016 / 27 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Austria’

Israel, Austria Celebrate 60 years of Diplomacy

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Austrian Ambassador to Israel Martin Weiss tweeted his thanks for an evening at the Israel Museum celebrating 60 years of Austrian-Israeli relations. The evening event featured a speech by Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, who began the week in Jerusalem, meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel Ambassador to Austria Talya Lador was present Sunday to greet the foreign minister upon his arrival in the country. For his part, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met this week with a group of young Austrians. “We really appreciate that you took the time!” tweeted Ambassador Weiss.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with a delegation of young Austrians.

Kurz took time Monday to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum, and spoke with Austrian Holocaust survivors in Jerusalem. He tied up the day by laying a wreath in a memorial ceremony at the Mount Herzl military ceremony in the capital.

Netanyahu and Kurz also met to sign a “working-holiday agreement” that provides easy access for the young to work in each others’ country,” Weiss said.

Kurz also met with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah during the day on Monday as well.

Hana Levi Julian

PM Netanyahu, Austrian FM Discuss Israel-Palestinian Authority Peace Talks

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a memorandum of understanding Monday with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz on educational and cultural issues.

During their meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu underlined the importance of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. He noted the rising threat of radical Islam and its implications both for Israel and Europe, according to a spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office.

The two leaders also signed a work and holiday visa agreement.

Hana Levi Julian

Anti-Semitism in Austria ‘Highest in Years’

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

A Jewish organization in Vienna says anti-Semitism in Austria is at its highest level in years.

The group representing the Jewish community is an NGO (non-governmental organization) called the Israelitischen Kultusgemeinde, or IKG.

Data presented to the IKG by a second group, the Forum Against Anti-Semitism (Forum gegen Antisemitismus) indicates last year there were 465 incidents involving anti-Semitism, as compared to 255 such incidents in 2014 – an 82 percent rise.

In 2015, nearly half of the incidents involved Islamic anti-Semitism online (205 cases), according to IKG President Oskar Deutsch. There were 85 anti-Semitic incidents online in 2014.

Around 15,000 Jews live in Austria.

“There is an increasing concern in our community that – if the proportion of Muslims in Austria continues to rise due to immigration, due to the refugees – this could become problematic for us,” IKG secretary-general Raimund Fastenbauer told the European Jewish Press.

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has urged the European Union and its member states to increase efforts to combat widespread anti-Semitic cyber hate.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz reacted to the report by affirming, “Jewish life must be protected in Austria. It is the duty of the state to make Jewish people in Austria feel secure; that is for us as Austria a great responsibility.”

However, Sebastian did not outline any concrete plan to address the issue, nor did he offer any suggestion to the Jewish community on how to mitigate the threat.

Hana Levi Julian

Austrian Minister Refuses to Meet Israeli Official in Eastern Jerusalem

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Austrian Science Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner has cancelled a meeting scheduled for next week with his Israeli counterpart in eastern Jerusalem because it is in “occupied” territory.”

Israeli Science Minister Ofir Akunis said Friday:

Either the meeting will take place in eastern Jerusalem or it won’t take place anywhere. Austria will not divide Jerusalem.

With all due respect to the Austrian minister, Jerusalem has been the united capital of Israel since 3,000 year ago…. If I were to accept his demand, it would be as if I were dividing Jerusalem, something that never will happen.

We are not going to divide Jerusalem just like Austria is not going to divide Vienna.

Akunis and Mitterlehner were to sign scientific agreements, but meeting with an Israeli official in eastern Jerusalem is contrary to the European position on Jerusalem as well as the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria, despite a large Jewish presence in ares of Jerusalem that the West does not recognize as Israeli..

The only prominent Western official to have met Israeli officials in eastern Jerusalem is Canada’s John Baird, when he was a minister in 2013 and met with Tzipi Livni at her Justice Ministry offices. The Palestinian Authority angrily condemned Canada for the meeting.

Mitterlehner’s snub of united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is no different from that of other European and American official who also do not meet with Israeli counterparts in areas they do not recognize.

The difference this time is the one of timing as well as the official reaction by Akunis, a strongly nationalist Likud minister. Israel is taking the offense against last month’s European Union Commission decision that prohibit the “Made in Israel” label from appearing on products made by Jews in the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria.

The Commission now requires the labels to read “made in settlements.”

Austria is one of the countries that is accelerating moves to adopt the policy, the Austrian DerStandard reported Friday.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, one of the leaders in the move to label “settlement” products, was forced to cancel a visit to Israel after the office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who officially also is Foreign Minister, said he would not meet with the Belgian official.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Austria, Czech Republic Already Forging Economic Ties with Iran, as Revolutionary Guard Gains Legitimacy

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

(JNi.media) “On the invitation of President Hassan Rouhani, I will pay a visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran from September 7-9, 2015,” wrote Austrian President Heinz Fischer, and news agency IRNA published every word. “A high-level political, economic, scientific and cultural delegation will accompany me,” the president added. “I am very much looking forward to my stay.”

Fischer noted that “Austria was honored to host the E3+3 negotiations in Vienna. I welcome the positive conclusion of the negotiations and the agreement on a ‘Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.’ It shows that with persistence, goodwill and the readiness to compromise a good result for both sides can be achieved by way of diplomacy. I hope that the planned roadmap will be implemented by all sides, in every respect.”

After spending several paragraphs on a description of the Austrian-Iranian relationship that goes back to the 1850s, Fischer gets to the money shot: “During the ‘Iran-EU Conference, Trade and Investment’ organized by Iran on July 23-24, 2015 in Vienna, interesting investment opportunities have been presented,” he writes. “In preparation for my visit, Iranian and Austrian ministries have identified areas of a future cooperation. A roadmap will be worked out which will identify projects in the fields of energy, environmental technology, tourism, infrastructure, transportation, forestry and civil protection. Austrian companies are highly interested in joint ventures with Iranian companies in order to realize the great potential of the Iranian market as partners.”

Meanwhile, Iran’s Minister of Economic and Finance Ali Tayyebnia said in a meeting with Czech Republic Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek on Monday that a roadmap for economic cooperation with the Czech republic will also be drawn up soon.

The Iranian minister underlined that grounds are prepared for foreign investment in Iran and Iran welcomes Czech investors’ presence in Iran’s market, IRNA reported.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has already taken Iran off a list of countries that draw special scrutiny from security agencies for providing visas. “Both the home ministry and the Prime Minister’s office are on the same page that no visa application will be delayed for more than one week primarily for business delegations coming to India even from countries like Iran and China,” a senior Indian government official told LiveMint on Monday. “Once an application comes to the home ministry for a security check, it will be processed within one week and sent back to Indian missions.”

In early August, Switzerland announced that it would lift some sanctions against Iran in what it called a sign of support for the agreement between Tehran and world powers over its nuclear program, Europe.eu reported in mid-August.

The same website suggests that one result of the recent deal with Iran is that dozens of companies with ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), a branch of Iran’s Armed Forces, will also win sanctions relief. With roughly 125,000 military personnel including ground, air and naval forces, the Revolutionary Guard was established in 1979 to protect Iran’s Islamic system by preventing foreign interference, as well as coups by the military or by “deviant movements.” However, the Guard has also developed into a “multibillion-dollar business empire,” and is reportedly the “third-wealthiest organization in Iran.”

According to Reuters, about 90 current and former Guard officials, the IRGC itself, and firms conducting transactions for the IRGC will be taken off the sanctions lists by either the US, the EU or the UN.

JNi.Media

Knights of Jerusalem Do Battle in Austria

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Israel’s soccer team may not be competing in the World Cup this month, but local sports fans can take pride: The blue and white soccer team may not be competing in Brazil over the next month, but Israeli armor, swords and Star of David flags were out in force as the national Knight squad attained victory in Hainburg an der Donau, Austria last week.

According to a report on the Hebrew-language Mako website, Michael Margolis, head of the Israeli team, said “We didn’t expect such great results. We’ve got a young team, but we fought like lions and bought home the results.” Margolis was injured in the shoulder during his bout, but brushed it off in true knighthood fashion.

The Knights of Jerusalem will compete later this week in Croatia.

 

Meir Halevi Siegel

Refugee Who Rescued Husband from Dachau, Dies at 111

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Soon after Kristallnacht, when she was 36, Gisela Kohn Dollinger persuaded the Gestapo to release her husband from the Dachau concentration camp, and the two of them fled Austria for Shanghai, where she almost died of typhoid.

After that, death seemed to forget all about her — until last week, when Dollinger passed away peacefully at Manhattan’s Beth Israel Hospital. She was 111 years old.

Dollinger’s passing came just weeks after Alice Herz-Sommer, a pianist and the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary who was believed to be the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor, died at the comparatively young age of 110.

Known by her friends and family as “Gisa,” Dollinger was the youngest of 15 children. She was born in Baden-be-Wien, a Vienna suburb, on Aug. 30, 1902, according to her relatives.

Widowed in 1993 after more than 60 years of marriage, Dollinger never had children but leaves behind scores of nieces, nephews and their offspring in numerous countries, including the United States, Israel and England.

“To everyone in the family she was always Aunt Gisa or Tante Gisa,” recalled Dr. Mark Horowitz, a grand-nephew who lives in Manhattan.

Dollinger retained her full mental faculties and was able to remain in her New York apartment until the end, although in her final years her vision and hearing deteriorated — a source of frustration since reading, conversation and listening to music were her favorite activities.

Horowitz described his great-aunt as “well educated and well cultured,” a frequent theater and opera-goer who spoke several languages.

Carole Vogel, a great-great-niece who is the unofficial family historian, told how in 2005, at the age of 103, Dollinger returned to Austria for the first time since she and her husband, Bernard, had fled in December 1938.

She had been invited to speak at the rededication of the synagogue her father had helped found in the 1880s and decided to use the trip as an excuse for a family reunion. At least 22 family members came along.

“I don’t know how many 103-year-olds go on trans-Atlantic flights, but she did,” recalled Vogel, who attended the reunion.

During the trip, the centenarian guided family members around Baden-be-Wien, pointing out where family members and other Jews lived.

“She also pointed out the homes of the Nazis and their names,” Vogel said. “She’d say, ‘I went to school with her, and she married a Nazi.’ She had a phenomenal memory up until the end.”

Shortly after Kristallnacht, when her family-owned dry-goods store was destroyed and Bernard was deported to Dachau, Dollinger went to the Gestapo in Vienna — putting herself at risk — and asked for her husband’s release, arguing successfully that since he was not an Austrian citizen (he was Polish), he should not have been included in the roundup.

Some family members have speculated that her persuasion included a bribe, but Dollinger never mentioned that when recounting the story, Vogel said.

“She credited the release of her husband to the fact that someone had advised her to speak to a certain Gestapo officer who was known to be more open to reason and that she showed him a valid Polish passport belonging to Bernard,” Vogel explained, adding that “open to reason” might have meant bribes, because “with Gisa everything could be in the nuance.”

Upon his release, Bernard was told that if he did not leave Austria within two weeks he would be returned to the concentration camp. Thanks to a last-minute cancellation, the couple managed to obtain two first-class tickets on a boat to Japanese-occupied China, one of the few places where Jews could easily obtain visas at the time.

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/refugee-who-rescued-husband-from-dachau-dies-at-111/2014/03/19/

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