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Israeli protester; Swastika displayed (PI-News)

Vienna: Prison threat for showing Israeli flag

On December 8, in front of the US Embassy in Vienna - as in other German cities - anti-Israeli demonstrators gathered to show their opposition against Jerusalem being designated as Israel's capital by US President Donald Trump.

Published: January 10, 2018, 9:34 am

    Vienna

    Not only Turkish, but Palestinian and Syrian flags were waved, and unabashed slogans were chanted.

    In addition to the usual demands for a new Intifada and Israel being denounced as a terrorist state, calls for the violent dissolution of the Jewish state were heard.

    The chant of “Khaybar Khaybar ya yahud, jaish Mohammed sa yaoud” [Chaibar, Chaibar, oh ye Jews! Mohammed’s army is coming back soon!] recalls the massacre of the Jews at Chaibar in 628. It was sounded as a call to arms to kill Jews and destroy Israel.

    But the Vienna State Police Directorate did not arrest those who chanted for the slaughter of Jews. Instead they arrested members of a counter-demonstration for showing an Israeli flag.

    In a statement the police said that the demonstrators had “disturbed public order” in a “most provocative manner” by “waving the Israeli flag in a particularly ruthless manner”, and thereby also caused “considerable displeasure” among the “Palestinian protesters”. A fine or alternatively two days in prison was issued to members of the counter-protest.

    One of the counter-protesters told the Austrian newspaper Der Standard: “According to my personal understanding of democracy, it must be possible in Austria to uphold the banner of a sovereign state. I do not understand why that should be a provocation.”

    The police justified themselves by saying that there were other charges issued to the other side, including suspicion of incitement, threats and carrying a weapon.

    Waving the Israeli flag in public in Vienna, has however been criminalised at the demo of the “Palestinian protesters”, as the Vienna police chose to call the anti-Jewish rally.

    The Star of David, in the middle of which a swastika is apparently also as tolerable as calling for violence against Jews and the state of Israel appears to be. Austria strictly prohibits the propagation of Nazi ideology, and sentencing under the legislation is very common.

    In February, Austrian police launched a search for a Hitler lookalike who was spotted near the dictator’s birthplace. One month earlier, an Austrian court sentenced a man to 33 months in prison for displaying Nazi tattoos.

    In October 2016, Austria sentenced a man to jail for posting a cat raising its right paw on social media. This weekend, authorities in Vienna expressed their satisfaction with the “peaceful” demonstration however.

    The important thing to note is that Muslims will not be facing any charges in calling for the murder of Jews or even if they felt “provoked” by a Jewish presence.

    The news comes in the wake of the trial in Israel of sixteen-year-old Palestinian Ahed Tamimi, hailed as the new Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela.

    She was charged last week with assault and incitement after she slapped two heavily armed Israeli soldiers because they would not leave her family home near Ramallah. Her mother, Nariman, is in detention for filming the incident after the video quickly went viral.

    The Palestinian schoolgirl – possibly facing a long jail term – has quickly become a social media icon. Palestinian sympathisers say that over the past 16 years, the Israeli army has killed on average 11 children a month.

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    • Joel_D_G

      In Österreich, if they had waved the Hakenkreuz, they would have received a warm and friendly police escort.

      In the 30’s and 40’s they shouted, “Out of Austria” and the current ilk screams, “Out of the Land of Israel.” Different era, same anti-Semitism.

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