Jewish groups have welcomed an Austrian parliamentary resolution targeting Hezbollah and its supporters in the country – just weeks after Germany did likewise.
The non-binding motion, approved on Friday, urges Austrian authorities to “take appropriate and effective measures to act decisively against the terrorist and criminal activities of Hezbollah and its supporters in Austria”.
It also urges the government of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to do more to fight Hezbollah’s financing by tackling money laundering networks.
Among those cheering the vote was the World Jewish Congress, whose president Ronald Lauder is a former US ambassador in Vienna. Lauder said the resolution was “testament to Austria’s steadfast commitment to the State of Israel.”
He added that the WJC “urges the EU to take strong heed of Austria’s unequivocal demand to reassess its approach to Hezbollah and its accomplices, who are operating on every continent, including on European soil, with no regard or respect for the laws of the land”.
Together with Hungary, Austria has become one of Israel’s staunchest supporters within the EU, blocking several attempts to condemn Jerusalem’s plans to unilaterally annex parts of the West Bank.
Earlier this year Kurz credited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for urging him “to wake up and do something” as the coronavirus began spreading around the world, leading to Austria’s early lockdown.