Vienna (Sep. 8)
Representatives of the Jewish community here have called for stricter measures to detect and apprehend terrorists and criticized Austria’s present policy as too lax. Edmund Preiss, vice president of the Vienna Jewish Community Council, charged Chancellor Bruno Kreisky with pursuing a one-sided policy regarding the Middle East situation and that this policy was creating a favorable climate in this country for terrorists to attack Jews and non-Jews who are friends of Israel.
Preiss emphasized that this criticism of the Chancellor does not therefore necessarily mean that Austrian Jews automatically support any kind of Israeli foreign policy. “As a people that has suffered, we can understand someone who wants his independence,” Preiss said. He was apparently referring to the Palestinian campaign for “self-determination.”
Preiss also called for increased surveillance of “potential attackers, the Arabs living in Austria.” He said surveillance had been “gravely neglected” and observed that the reason for this was politically motivated.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Erwin Lanc said that in the near future all 4,000 Arabs residing in Austria will have to report to their local police stations where their work permit and immigration papers will be checked. At the same time, police said there were no new developments in their investigation of last week’s terrorist attack on the synagogue here where two people were killed and 18 were wounded.
There were, however, additional anti-Semitic incidents since the attack on the synagogue. Following the burial of one of the victims, Ulrike Kohut, hundreds of small sheets of paper with swastikas printed on them were found in the alley leading to Vienna’s central Jewish cemetery. Last Thursday, anti-Semitic slogans were shouted during a soccer match between two Viennese teams.