Even though the controlled media has focused on next year’s French presidential elections as a “barometer” of how European populism is faring, in reality, the coming weekend’s Austrian presidential election rerun offers a far more immediate insight into the topic.
The rerun—set for December 4—pits a pro-invasion Green-communist against an anti-invasion nationalist populist, and the outcome will have significant consequences for Europe’s political landscape.
The rerun election was ordered after the previous election was declared void when postal vote irregularities were revealed. In that election, the Freedom Party of Austria’s (FPÖ) candidate, Norbert Hofer, won the vote on election day, but lost narrowly once the now-disputed postal votes were counted.
His opponent, Alexander van der Bellen, has this time received the backing of homosexual cross-dresser “Conchita Wurst,” an elderly Jewess who claims to be a “holocaust” survivor, and other pro-invasion organizations such as the Austrian Communist Party.
“Those who want to stop Hofer, must vote for Van der Bellen,” says the Austrian Communist Party (KPÖ).
Opinion polls have shown the two candidates in a dead heat, although many observers have quietly expressed the opinion that the FPÖ candidate is more likely to win given the impetus to populism driven by the U.K.’s “Brexit” vote and the election of Donald Trump in the U.S.
A Hofer win will have far-reaching effects. In Austria, it will almost certainly herald an FPÖ government, either through an immediate collapse in the ruling conservative-socialist coalition, or at the scheduled elections in 2017.
The European Union is also likely to react with deep anger. In 2000, when the FPÖ became a junior government coalition partner, the 14 other EU countries froze bilateral relations with Austria, barring all diplomatic contacts and ambassadorial meetings at an inter-governmental level.
The FPÖ’s determined efforts to ingratiate itself with the Jewish lobby have been rejected once again by the World Jewish Congress.
The FPÖ has good contacts with a number of “right-wing” Jews in Austria and Israel, including, according to the Washington Post, some Israeli cabinet ministers.
Most recently, the FPÖ’s official educational institute (FPÖ Bildungsinstitut) sponsored a one-day seminar in Vienna, attended by both Hofer and party leader H. C. Strache, titled “Have we learned from history? New Anti-Semitism in Europe.”
Other conference attendees included Israeli politician and former cabinet minister Rafael Eitan, who was in charge of the Mossad operation that led to the kidnapping of Adolf Eichmann.
Another senior Israeli politician in attendance was Michael Kleiner, former Knesset member and former leader of the now defunct right-wing Israeli Herut—The National Movement party.
According to Kleiner, the FPÖ is now “one of the most pro-Israel parties in Europe.”
The logic behind the endorsement of Israel is clearly to exploit the fact that Israel has immigration laws to which the FPÖ and other parties in Europe strive. The argument for restrictive immigration policies is much harder for the Jewish lobby to refute when they are based on the Jewish ethnostate’s own example, the logic goes.
“Islam is not a part of Austria,” Hofer said at the anti-Semitism conference. “By the year 2050, 50 percent of the children [in Austria] under 12 will be Muslims. . . The kind of politics that is permitting a changing face of Austria and Europe has to be opposed.”
Another senior Jewish FPÖ member, David Lasar—who also works as an advisor to Hofer—told the Washington Post that “private meetings took place in April between Strache and some Israeli government ministers. He declined to give names.”
Lasar said that the FPÖ was a “rare friend for Israel in Europe,” and also told the Washington Post that “Muslims in Austria” were the real threat to Jews, citing a spike in anti-Semitic incidents. In 2015, such incidents jumped 82 percent to 465 cases, the vast majority of which were Muslim in origin.
“The new anti-Semitism in Austria, in Europe, is being imported and spread by Islam,” Lasar said. “It’s important that Austria maintains a Judeo-Christian tradition. Islam is not a part of that.”
However, as is the case with Trump, the FPÖ strategy has not convinced the majority of the small Jewish population of Austria, or the Jewish lobby in general.
The Washington Post quoted Karl Pfeifer, who it said was a Jewish journalist and author who “fled the Nazi invasion of Austria” and returned after World War II.
“This is a question of morality for the Jews in Austria,” said Pfeifer. “Any party that is inciting against a minority group cannot be trusted. Nobody should understand that more than us.”
Austrian Jew and vice president of the World Jewish Congress, Ariel Muzicant, told the Washington Post that the “right has discovered its love for Judaism. The overtures are bizarre and we are repudiating such attempts.”