Austrian foreign minister to file complaint over anti-Semitic speech online


(JTA) — Austria’s foreign minister said he would file police complaints against people who posted anti-Semitic comments on his Facebook page after he called for peace between Israel and Hamas.

“We will submit a statement of facts to the prosecutor’s office to examine the hate postings,” said Sebastian Kurz, according to a report in the online edition of the Heute tabloid on Wednesday.

The daily did not repeat any of the reportedly anti-Semitic statements. Kurz, 27, is not Jewish.

Over the past few days, Kurz has appealed to both sides in the Gaza conflict to stop the violence in official statements and on Facebook.

Separately, a French-language petition titled “Stop the Jewish occupation of Palestine: Death to Jews and the Jewish occupation” has garnered 363 signatures since July 8, bringing the total number of signatories to 3,759. The petition was first posted in March 2013 but crossed the 2,000 mark only in April this year.

In the Netherlands, the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, a local watchdog group on anti-Semitism, told media it has received dozens of anti-Semitic messages since July 8, when Israel launched air strikes on Gaza after an intensification of rocket fire from there.

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