Austrian government treats Israel as Jewish state for first time

New government platform, headed by conservative Chancellor Kurtz, includes clear reference to Jewish character of State of Israel.

Mordechai Sones ,


The new Austrian government, headed by conservative Sebastian Kurtz, whose establishment was announced at the end of the week, includes in its platform a clear reference to the Jewish character of the State of Israel, reports Israel Hayom's Eldad Beck.

This is the first time that an Austrian government has included such unequivocal recognition of Israel as a Jewish state alongside a commitment to continue efforts to reach a two-state political solution between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs that will provide Israel with long-term security borders alongside a viable Palestinian state.

Among European countries, up to now, only the platform of the German government under Chancellor Angela Merkel has included a reference recognizing Israel's Jewish character.

The platform of the new Austrian government also includes explicit reference to the recognition of Austria's guilt in the Holocaust and its responsibility for it. This, too, is a political precedent, accompanied by a clear reference of the need next year to cite, in a respectful fashion, during commemorations of the 80th year since the Anschluss - the annexation of Austria to the Nazi Reich - "one of the greatest tragedies in human history," the Holocaust.

The consent of the rightist Freedom Party to include these points in the new government's platform indicates the party's new policy regarding Israel and Austria's Nazi past.