World Jewish News
Israel's President Rivlin against meeting of Israeli politicians with European extreme-right parties
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told to the Jewish community of Vienna that he would not tolerate any alliances of Israeli representatives with extreme-right politicians from the Austrian Freedom Party (FOP) after Israeli figures attended a conference on anti-Semitism, organised by the party.
The event was viewed by many as an attempt by the FOP, founded by former-Nazi officials in the 1950s, to improve its image and to try to eradicate its anti-Semitic past.
The FPO has courted Jewish voters using efforts such as a visit last year by Heinz-Christian Strache, its leader, to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.
President Rivlin responded to a letter from Vienna Jewish community leader Oskar Deutsch and World Jewish Congress Vice President Ariel Muzicant in which they criticized Israeli politicians willing to meet with members of the European extreme right.
In his response, Rivlin said he is against Israeli officials meeting with “European parties of the far right that are tainted with a history of anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial … or the promotion of racial hatred or intolerance.''