'Austria is committed to Israel's security'

Chancellor Kurz meets with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem, vows to fight anti-Semitism at home.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Sebastian Kurz meets with Rivlin Reuven
Sebastian Kurz meets with Rivlin Reuven
Kobi Gideon (GPO)

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem Tuesday, as part of his state visit to Israel.

As the Chancellor and his delegation were welcomed to the President’s Office, Chancellor Kurz commented, “I and my government are committed to being a supportive player for Israel and its security,” and stressed his intention to continue working to strengthen relations between the two countries. He also spoke about Austria’s commitment to Israel, the Jewish community in Austria, the memory of the Holocaust and the struggle against anti-Semitism. “I'll continue to make sure the streets of Austria are safe,” he added.

The President welcomed the Chancellor warmly and stressed the importance of the strengthening relations between Israel and Austria and the developing cooperation between the two countries. The President reiterated his view, that even in today's complex reality in Europe and throughout the world, it is impossible to accept elements who hold views that support the State of Israel but also hold racist or anti-Semitic positions.

At the end of their meeting, the President gave the Chancellor a copy of the recently published documentary "Testimony". The film tells the story of an investigation based on a factual case of the murder of Jews during World War II in the village of Lansdorf, Austria. The President told the Chancellor about the film and said, “We are intertwined not only because of the present and the future, but of course because of the terrible past of the Holocaust. The suffering of our people in the Holocaust is still a central issue in Jewish and Israeli life, and finds expression in art, cinema, literature and culture.”

Kurz arrived in Israel on Sunday, touring the Old City of Jerusalem and visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial center.

On Monday, the Austrian Chancellor addressed a gathering of the American Jewish Committee, acknowledging that his country had often failed to face up to its role in the Holocaust.

"To remember means also to admit the truth. At that time, many Austrians supported the system which killed over six million Jews from all over Europe and beyond. Among them, 60,000 fellow Austrian Jewish citizens in Austria alone," said Kurz.