Austrian far-right dismisses anti-Semitic MP

Susanne Winter, 58, booted from MP position after agreeing to 'Zionist conspiracy' post on Facebook.

Arutz Sheva Staff, | updated: 19:25

Susanne Winter (file)
Susanne Winter (file)

Austria's far-right Freedom Party (FPOe), riding high in opinion polls and seeking to moderate its image, on Monday dismissed one of its lawmakers for an anti-Semitic Facebook post, AFP reports. 

Susanne Winter, 58, was given until 7:00 pm local time to quit her post as an MP in the Austrian parliament and from the FPOe or be expelled, the opposition party said in a statement.

She had replied on the social network to a posting about a global conspiracy of "Zionist money Jews" with: "Nice, you have taken the words right out of my mouth ;-)." 

She added: "There are lots of things that I am not allowed to say. This makes me all the happier about courageous, independent people!"

The comments provoked outrage, with Vienna's Jewish Community organization calling Winter a "disgrace to the Austrian parliament" and the chamber's speaker referring the comments to state prosecutors.

Winter said her comments were in reference to an article that the other user was reacting to, but the FPOe saw it differently, saying she had "crossed a red line." 

Like other far-right parties in Europe, the populist FPOe has gained support in recent months on the back of concerns about the arrival in Europe of hundreds of thousands of migrants this year.

Although it has called for Austria to put up fences on its borders, the party has toned down its xenophobic and anti-Islam rhetoric, emulating Marine Le Pen's makeover of the National Front in France.

Recent national opinion polls have put the FPOe in first place with more than 30 percent of voter intentions, although the next general elections are not due until 2018.