Austrian Chancellor: We support Israel’s security needs in ‘dangerous neighborhood’

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said that Israel’s security needs are appreciated because it is situated in “a dangerous neighborhood.”

By: World Israel News Staff

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said his country will support Israel’s security, living as it does in a dangerous neighborhood.

“We want to support the State of Israel and also your security needs,” Kurz said during his visit to Jerusalem. “You live in a dangerous neighborhood and your neighbors are not like ours – Liechtenstein or Switzerland.”

Kurz said that he understood the difference. “Therefore we will try to raise awareness in Europe for the special situation and the special security needs of Israel.”

Kurz assured Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Austria will fight all forms of anti-Semitism in Europe with determination. “Be it the still existing one or also new imported anti-Semitism,” Kurz said.

“We also know that our responsibility does not end at our borders.”

Kurz said that his visit was also an opportunity to foster the relations between ther two countries.

“I’m happy that I’m here together with our Minister for Education and that we are able to enhance our cooperation on education, research and youth exchange.

Netanyahu, meanwhile, praised Kurz for addressing the historical responsibility of the Austrian people to aiding the Nazis in carrying out the extermination of European Jewry during the Holocaust.

“We deeply appreciate the steps taken by the Austrian government and the Austrian parliament in recent months, most notably among them your speech, a wonderful speech of the 80th anniversary of the Anschluss.

“You addressed historical responsibility. You clearly opposed anti-Semitism and you spoke about Jewish life in Austria. You said, and I want to quote this, ‘Austria was not only a victim but also a perpetrator.'”

“These are courageous and bold words and I think they chart the course that you’re leading in Austria and our relationship, one that I support very, very much.”