The woman, said to be about 50 years old, approached the rabbi at a tram stop shouting “slaughter the Jews” and brandishing a knife.
By Algemeiner Staff
A woman screaming “slaughter the Jews” attacked a rabbi in broad daylight on a Vienna street on Thursday afternoon as passersby reportedly looked the other way.
The attack occurred at 4pm in the Austrian capital’s Third District. The woman, said to be about 50 years old, approached the rabbi at a tram stop shouting “slaughter the Jews” and brandishing a knife. She then ripped the rabbi’s hat and kippah from his head and kicked him before fleeing the scene.
According to Austrian media reports, the rabbi — who was not seriously harmed — told police officers that despite the presence of several witnesses, no-one came to his aid. Police are currently trying to apprehend the woman.
Austrian politicians were quick to condemn the attack.
“We must fight antisemitism with all our determination and do everything to make Jewish life here in Austria safe,” Chancellor Sebastian Kurz stated following the outrage.
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said he had ordered extra security around synagogues following the attack and pledged to find the rabbi’s assailant.
“All measures will be taken to quickly clear up this obviously antisemitic attack,” he said. “There is no tolerance for anti-Semitism – regardless of whether it is politically or religiously motivated.”
The head of the Jewish community in Vienna called the attack “disturbing.”
“But the Jewish community will not be intimidated,” Oskar Deutsch declared on Twitter.
On Friday, Vienna’s Catholic Archbishop added his voice to the condemnation.
“I am dismayed by yesterday’s attack on a rabbi in the middle of Vienna. I assure our fellow Jewish citizens of my complete solidarity,” said Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. “Antisemitism must have no place among us. It endangers the peaceful coexistence of us all.”