Hanan Ashrawi
Hanan AshrawiIssam Rimawi/Flash 90

Austria's Jewish community reacted angrily after Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl invited Palestinian Authority official Hanan Ashrawi to a festive New Year's concert by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Kneissl stated on January 1 that it was a “sincere pleasure to welcome the Palestinians’ voice of reason” for the concert.

The Jewish community accused Ashrawi of using her visit to demonize Israel.

Ashrawi gave an interview in Austria stated that Israel was a "rogue state" that "enslaves Palestinians" and slammed the Austrian government for its pro-Israel positions.

"Why does one have to give such a platform to a hater of Israel? Hanan Ashrawi used her invitation to Vienna to once again demonize Israel,” asked Oskar Deutsch, the leader of Austria's Jewish community.

“Both Israelis and Palestinians suffer from this Palestinian leadership. What Mrs. Ashrawi calls a pro-Israel position is certainly more pro-Palestinian than the terror-promoting policy of Fatah and Hamas,” Deutsch wrote on his Facebook page.

“In Israel, every person enjoys equal rights. Muslims, Christians, Jews, atheists and others have the right to elect parliamentarians, judges, and so on,” he added. “Standing for European values would mean not to invite Israel haters such as Hanan Ashrawi to the New Year’s concert.”

Ashrawi thanked Kneissl for her “friendship and hospitality.”

“Music is truly a global language & a genuinely healing experience. Austria & Palestine, like us, must continue to nurture their friendship," she wrote following the concert.