The extent to which people are affected by the latest escalation in the Middle East conflict was shown in Vienna on Wednesday evening. Around 2,500 people took to the streets to protest against Israel’s military action.
During the rally on Mariahilfer Street, anti-Semitic chants could be heard, flags of the Palestinian terror organisation Hamas could be seen, and banners were used to deny the Holocaust. It was one of the biggest anti-Semitic rallies in recent years. “This is not political criticism, but anti-Semitic incitement,” commented the writer Doron Rabinovici on Twitter.
Shortly after the march had started, shouts such as “Israel child murderer” or “Chaiber, Chaiber (anti-Semitic massacre, note), oh, you Jews, Mohammed’s army will be back soon” could be heard. In addition, there was an open call for a new Intifada, i.e. a violent uprising against Israel. In addition to numerous young people, almost the entire Islamist spectrum of the capital was represented, including supporters of Hamas, people from the so-called “Islamic State” and the Muslim Brotherhood.
People close to the Grey Wolves or Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Turkish party AKP could also be spotted. Viennese AKP activists openly support Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel via Facebook.
They were joined by activists from left-wing splinter groups who railed against Zionism, propagated a new Intifada or chanted slogans. People from the group “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS) were also present. With its campaigns, the group tries to isolate the state of Israel economically, culturally and politically.