Tearing down Israeli flag, antisemitic leaflets: new antisemitic incidents reported in Vienna

New antisemitic incidents have been reported in Vienna, Austria, including the attempted tearing down of an Israeli flag from the entrance of Vienna’s main synagogue and antisemitic leaflets spread on the street.

Police said that on Saturday night, some unknown women tried to tear down the Israeli flag from the entrance of the Stadttempel, Vienna’s main synagogue in the city centre. The flag was eventually left intact, reports the tev.hu.

A few hours later, passers-by discovered two antisemitic leaflets on the street in Hagengasse in the 15th district.

„It is not yet known who produced these leaflets,” the Vienna Provincial Police Directorate said. The investigation has been taken over by the police’s Office for State Security and Counter-Extremism.

Earlier on Friday, two youths tore down an Israeli flag from the flagpole of the Campus der Religionen, which aims to promote peaceful interfaith meetings, in the Aspern district of Vienna. The suspects allegedly spat on and kicked the flag. The unidentified suspects are under investigation on suspicion of causing serious damage to property and defamation of religious teachings. The Campus has strongly condemned the vandalism.

This was the second antisemitic incident on the „Campus of Religions” in a few weeks. On February 18, witnesses observed a group of six people tearing down and destroying the Israeli flag.

According to Karoline Edtstadler, the Austrian Minister for Europe and Constitutional Affairs, the number of antisemitic incidents has increased by 350-400% since the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel on October 7 last year. The minister expressed outrage at such a rise in antisemitism:

„We have experienced things that I thought we would only have to read about in history books”.