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Austrian Jewish leader warns of rising anti-Semitism

(JTA) — The number of anti-Semitic incidents documented in 2012 by Austria’s Jewish community doubled from the previous year, the leader of Vienna’s Jewish community said.

Oskar Deutsch told the Kurier newspaper that the Jewish community registered 135 such incidents last year, compared to 71 in 2011.

Still, Jews increasingly are immigrating to Austria from neighboring Hungary because of anti-Semitism in that country, he said.

In comments published Monday, Deutsch named Hungary, Sweden, Norway, Finland, France and Greece as the European Union countries where Jews are most under threat.

Ariel Muzicant, the former president of the Jewish Community of Vienna, told JTA that his community last year began a program that helps Hungarian Jews emigrate and settle in Austria.

The program, which now services some 20 families still in Hungary, includes subsidized German language courses to prepare the participants as well as help in finding employment in Austria, and finding housing and Jewish schools for the children.

The recent waiving of work permits between the two EU countries as well as economic troubles in Hungary also have served as a catalyst for Hungarian Jews to move to Austria, Zsuzsa Fritz, the director of Budapest’s Balint Jewish Community Center, told JTA.
 

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