Jewish Community Shuns Austria’s New Far-Right Ministers

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Jewish community leaders in Austria say they’ll keep shunning the nationalist Freedom Party, despite it joining the country’s new government.

The Jewish Community of Vienna, which represents most Jews in Austria, says its leadership voted unanimously Tuesday against establishing contacts with representatives of the Freedom Party. The decision continues a practice started in 2000.

The Freedom Party is in a coalition with the conservative Austrian People’s Party and holds key ministries including interior, defense and foreign affairs.

In a statement Wednesday, the Jewish Community cited the Freedom Party’s links to a nationalist student fraternity steeped in anti-Semitic ideology, its calls for a ban on religious animal slaughter and its members’ efforts to abolish anti-Nazi legislation.

Almost a third of 206,000 Jews living in pre-war Austria were killed in the Holocaust.

(AP)