The southern Austrian city of Graz has unveiled an initiative to combat antisemitism following two antisemitic incidents earlier this year.
The plan, “Together Against Antisemitism,” was launched at the Graz synagogue on Friday by Austria’s EU Minister, Karoline Edtstadler, and Jewish community President Elie Rosen. It follows recent antisemitic incidents in which the synagogue was daubed with the slogan “Free Palestine”. Just two days later Mr Rosen was attacked by an assailant wielding a wooden club, after warning of a rise in “left-wing and anti-Israel antisemitism”.
Ms Edtstadler described the initiative as a “struggle for society as a whole”, noting the need to “remain vigilant” and “carry everyone with us”.
Mr Rosen explained that the antisemitism initiative was built on education, making schoolchildren more aware of the culture and history of Jews in the region and training teachers to counter antisemitism in the classroom.
The Graz initiative follows a law passed by the Austrian Council of Ministers which increases the Government’s financial support for the Jewish community, to be used for “the protection of Jewish institutions” as well as the promotion of inter-religious dialogue and the preservation of Jewish cultural heritage.