Friday, September 19, 2008

Anti-Semitism in Austrian Universities - Ruth Contreras

On the Situation in Austrian Universities 2007
Dr. Ruth Contreras
From Manfred Gerstenfeld ( ed.) Academics against Israel and the Jews


Bruno Kreisky was a Jewish Social Democrat who served as Austrian chancellor from 1970 to 1983. He has been criticized for his ambivalence toward his Jewish identity and the effects this had on his approach to the Middle East. As Manfred Gerstenfeld notes, "Kreisky provides an example of a Jewish initiator of anti-Israel actions. He played a crucial role in making Yasser Arafat acceptable to the Socialist International."2

Kreisky came from an assimilated Jewish family that originated in Bohemia. Although his autobiography3 tells little about his Jewish roots, he mentions a cousin, Victor Much, whom he met in his youth and was an adherent of Vladimir Jabotinsky and his Revisionist Zionist movement. Kreisky says Much failed to persuade him of these views.4

The political scientist and expert on anti-Semitism, Anton Pelinka, pointed out, "For the National Socialists, Kreisky was a Jew. To save his life he had to go into Swedish exile. Vis-à-vis his environment, Kreisky had accepted his Jewish identity-but not in the sense of drawing religious or political implications. Kreisky was a Jew because others saw him as a Jew."5 He was committed to his Social Democratic ideas rather than to his Jewish identity.

When speaking about the Palestinians, Kreisky compared their situation to that of occupied Austria after 1938. His memoirs refer to an incident in Sweden in 1941: he identified himself to a Swedish policeman as Austrian even though the policeman insisted that Austria did not exist anymore. Kreisky relates that he mentioned this story once in a discussion with Golda Meir when she opposed using the term Palestinians at a meeting of the Socialist International.6

As president of the Austrian Social Democratic Party since 1967, Kreisky had major influence in the Socialist International. When Willy Brandt was elected president of the Socialist International in 1976, Kreisky became one of its vice-presidents.

After World War II, the Socialist International took a pro-Israeli stance. It admired Israeli socialism with its kibbutzim and moshavim, viewing this as the only path to a prosperous Jewish homeland.7 After the 1973 Yom Kippur War, however, these perceptions changed.

At its thirteenth congress in Geneva in 1976, the Socialist International passed a resolution supporting the "right of all peoples to self-determination and a life in peace with secure and recognized borders." It did not mention the Palestinians or the PLO in particular.8

In a Jerusalem Post interview in 1978, Kreisky called Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin a "political grocer," a "Polish lawyer from Warsaw," and also sharply attacked Israel as being culpable for the Middle East conflict.9 In 1979, Kreisky and Brandt invited Arafat to Vienna, and the latter became the first European capital to receive him as a future prime minister.

In March 1980, Austria formally recognized the PLO. The Conservative opposition charged Kreisky with "condoning terrorism and deviating from the diplomatic tradition of recognizing only states."10 As Harry Delfiner noted,

Kreisky apparently never seriously examined whether in helping Arafat he was also helping to advance a new form of warfare that would eventually threaten many of the very values in which he and his fellow socialists believed. When confronted with the facts of Arafat's engagement in terrorism, he would downplay or deny it altogether, while concentrating his attention on what he saw as advancing the wronged people and on the need to bring peace to the Middle East.11
Kreisky continued his involvement with Middle Eastern politics after he left the government in 1983.


2. Manfred Gerstenfeld, "Jews against Israel," Nativ Online, Vol. 8 (October 2005),[2 April 2006].

3. Bruno Kreisky, Zwischen den Zeiten: Erinnerungen aus fünf Jahrzehnten (Berlin: Siedler Verlag, 1986). [German]

4. Ibid, 64.

5. Anton Pelinka, "Nicht die Judenfrage, der Antisemitismus ist das Problem," in Max Halhuber, 5 Fragen an 3 Generationen: Der Antisemitismus und wir heute (Wien: Czernin Verlag), 54. [German]

6. Kreisky, Zwischen den Zeiten, 360-61.

7. Julius Braunthal, Geschichte der Internationale, Vol. 3 (Hannover: J. H. W. Dietz Nachf. GmbH, 1971), 414. [German]

8. Socialist Affairs, Vol. 1 (1977), quoted in John Bunzl, Between Vienna and Jerusalem: Reflections and Polemics on Austria, Israel and Palestine (New York: Peter Lang, 1997), 56.

9. Robert Wistrich, "The Strange Case of Bruno Kreisky," Encounter, Vol. 52, No. 5 (May 1979), 78.

10. Bunzl, Between Vienna and Jerusalem, 58.

11. Harry Delfiner, "The Socialist International and the Rise of Yasir Arafat," Midstream, November/December 2002, quoted in Gerstenfeld, "Jews against Israel."

[COMMENT: Here we have the curious conjoining of the Left and the Islamic jihadists--see
There is an alliance between the enemies of our country (the USA) . . . for why this a danger to the rest of us--(non-Moslems and non-Socialist-Marxists).]

The Waldheim Affair

In 1986 Kurt Waldheim, having previously been secretary-general of the United Nations, was the Conservative candidate for the Austrian presidency. During the period of his candidacy it became known that he had kept silent about serving as an officer of the German army in the Balkans during the war.

The populist newspaper Kronenzeitung and the conservative Kurier received a flood of anti-Semitic letters blaming the Jews for impugning Waldheim's integrity.12 There was also, however, a positive effect as for the first time Austria critically scrutinized its Nazi past and questioned its presumed role as victim.13

Continue reading at

As to why Socialism and the Jihad are both dangerous, see
There is an alliance between the enemies of our country--which is the USA under its Constitution (our country, that is). The enemies are those who would subjugate us to foreign ideologies [Socialism and Islam].

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