Austrian community says Ron Lauder “unwelcome”

By Sandy Rashty, December 6, 2012
Ronald Lauder (Photo: AP)

Ronald Lauder (Photo: AP)

The Austrian Jewish community has declared World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder an “unwelcome person” for allegedly interfering in their affairs, according to a report in Haaretz.

Oskar Deutsch, the community president, reportedly accused the Jewish billionaire and former US envoy to Austria, of offering the community leadership “more than €4.5million” to back candidate Martin Engelberg in their board elections.

Mr Lauder has strongly denied allegations, calling them “unfounded and irresponsible”.

Gary Lewi, a spokesperson for Mr Lauder, told the JTA: “Let there be no mistake: These allegations are despicable and without any basis in truth.

"For some 25 years, Ambassador Lauder has demonstrated through word and deed his support for the Viennese Jewish community.

“In repudiating these unfounded and irresponsible allegations in the strongest terms possible, he continues to stand with this proud and dynamic community today and far into the future.”

Last updated: 5:40pm, December 11 2012