The virulently and violently anti-Semitic postings of a Turkish man living in Austria constitute a legitimate expression of displeasure with the State of Israel, an Austrian prosecutor said Tuesday.
The Turk, identified as only Ibrahim, posted a picture of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler along with the fictitious quote: “I could have annihilated all the Jews in the world, but I left some of them alive so you will know why I was killing them..."
A fellow Facebook user noticed the postings and reported them to the police. Authorities opened an investigation into the comments, as based on a law that outlaws the glorification of the Nazis.
However, Ibrahim, 29, the owner of a barbershop in Wels near Linz, claimed that he is not a racist and justified his pro-Nazi rant in the context of Israel's Operation Protective Edge against Hamas last summer.
He further argued that had not been aware such statements were illegal.
Despite the police inquiry, the case was closed and dismissed shortly thereafter.
The reason: Ibrahim was simply expressing "displeasure toward Israel," Linz's prosecutor ruled, as reported by the Oberösterreichische Nachrichten newspaper.
According to the spokesman of the Linz prosector, Philip Christl, "the law prohibits and punishes the glorification of the National Socialist movement, but the suspect's statements are not a glorification of Hitler."
The newspaper reported that Ibrahim had also called on Allah to "annihilate the Jewish state" in the post.
Jewish groups were up in arms over the decision, which the Austrian-Israel Society stressed "legitimizes anti-Semitic agitation through Austria’s judiciary.”
The uproar that has followed the Linz prosector's decision to dismiss the case has prompted a more senior prosecutor to state his intention to re-evaluate the case, Der Standard reported Wednesday.