(JTA) — Austrian prosecutors will decide whether to investigate a right-wing politician for incitement after he called a Jewish museum director a "Jew in exile from America."
Dieter Egger, the head of the Australia Freedom Party, a junior partner in the coalition government of Vorarlberg province, Austria’s westernmost state, made the remarks last Friday during an election campaign kickoff.
The comment came in response to criticism from Hanno Loewy, director of the Jewish Museum in Hohenems, the Austrian newspaper Wiener Zeitung reported. Loewy had criticized Egger for saying that voters who did not like his party’s platform of paying family benefits only to native Austrians should be expelled from the country. He compared the statement to the deportation of Jews from Austria, who were then murdered by the Nazis.
"The Jew in exile from America with his heavily subsidized museum should shut up and not mix in Austrian politics," Egger responded.
Austria’s Chancellor Werner Faymann condemned Egger’s statements, the Austrian newspaper Der Standard reported.
Vienna Jewish community head Ariel Muzicant called the fact that the Freedom Party is a member of state government’s coalitions the "real scandal," Wiener Zeitung reported.
Muzicant told JTA in May that the tone of the Freedom Party’s recent campaign for the European Union legislative body was directly responsible for a recent series of anti-Semitic incidents in the country.