Ronald Lauder
Ronald Lauder Flash 90

World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder on Sunday sharply denounced a Shabbat attack on Elie Rosen, the president of the Jewish community of Graz, Austria, and expressed his appreciation to the Austrian authorities for their prompt and unequivocal condemnation of the incident and enforcement of tighter security at Jewish institutions in Austria.

An unknown assailant attacked Rosen with a club on the premises of the Graz synagogue. Rosen managed to find refuge in his car and was unhurt.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz tweeted that he was shocked by the attack, and committed to safeguarding the security of the Austrian Jewish community.

“I am saddened that Elie Rosen was attacked outside of the synagogue of the Jewish community he leads in Graz, Austria. He was thankfully unharmed physically. The World Jewish Congress stands with Elie and the Graz and larger Austrian Jewish communities as they move forward from this incident of anti-Semitic hate,” said Lauder.

“Such assault on Jews is becoming far too commonplace, especially in Europe but also elsewhere, including in the United States and Canada. I cannot condemn the perpetrator strongly enough, and we must acknowledge the deeper tragedy of global anti-Semitism, xenophobia and bigotry that threatens the fiber of societies worldwide,” he added.

“I am deeply appreciative of Austrian Chancellor Kurtz’s prompt and unequivocal denunciation of the attack on Elie Rosen, and his assurance that his government is committed to safeguarding the security of the Austrian Jewish community,” concluded Lauder.

The attack on Rosen followed two incidents of vandalism at the synagogue in Graz over the past week. In one incident on Wednesday, unknown vandals spray-painted anti-Semitic graffiti on the synagogue walls. The graffiti read “Free Palestine” and “our country and our language are red lines."

Kurz, who has expressed support for Israel in the past, has also pledged to make "combating anti-Semitism in all its forms" a top priority.

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