Die Presse: “Sobotka honoured by European Jewish Congress”

National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka received the Golden Vision Award. “Anyone who wants to protect democracy must not shy away from the fight against antisemitism,” he emphasized in his acceptance speech.

National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka (ÖVP) received the Golden Vision Award – the highest honor of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) – in parliament on Tuesday evening.

Sobotka “was always on our side, both in moments of joy and sadness, especially in these difficult times for all Jews,” EJC President Ariel Muzicant paid tribute to Sobotka in his speech.

He was “grateful to have the President of the National Council as a friend”. In addition, after Hamas ‘ attack on Israel, one could not be more grateful and proud that “the Austrian federal government, the people and especially the President of the National Council, openly and clearly expressed their solidarity with the Israeli people and in particular with the hostages and their families have,” says Muzicant.

“Anyone who wants to protect democracy must not shy away from the fight against antisemitism,” emphasized Sobotka in his acceptance speech. He spoke of an “indescribable honor” and of accepting the award on behalf of official Austria. Although the crimes of National Socialism in Austria have not yet been fully dealt with, the Federal Government, Parliament with the National Fund, the Mauthausen Memorial, the Jewish Community and numerous clubs and organizations are making an important contribution to the education of young people.

The attacks carried out by armed terrorists on October 7, 2023 were the worst crime against Jews since the Shoah and resulted in a rise in antisemitism worldwide. Sobotka emphasized that democracies must now take a stance to express support and empathy for the victims and not relativize terror. Resignation is not an alternative. Austria and the EU must “clarify things, state facts and promote mutual understanding”. 

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