Austrian far right deputy leader attacks Israel "mass experiment"

Anti-vaxxers arrested at demo


Israel is practising a system of “healthcare apartheid”, a leading Austrian far-right politician told a coronasceptic rally in Vienna on Saturday.
“What’s going on in Israel right now is on the one hand a mass experiment on the part of the pharmaceutical industry and on the other a system of healthcare apartheid”, Herbert Kickl—the Freedom Party’s (FPÖ) number two—said.
The FPÖ’s parliamentary faction boss told supporters that Israel’s vaccination drive has made it “a land of unfreedom whose example we shouldn’t follow”.
Mr Kickl was speaking at one of several coronasceptic demonstrations held in Vienna over the weekend which attracted around 15,000 participants.
Among the rallygoers were members of the far-right identitarian movement as well as protesters bearing both the contemporary German flag and the black, white, and red colours of the imperial Second Reich.
42 people were arrested, police confirmed Sunday, while at least one person was charged with violating Austria’s ban on Nazi activities for making the Hitler salute.
Mr Kickl’s slur came two days after chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s visit to Israel where he met prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss future cooperation on vaccine production.
The pair, along with Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen, toured a gym in Modi’in where Mr Netanyahu demonstrated how Israel’s ‘green pass’ vaccine passport functions.
Mr Kurz called Israel’s vaccination campaign “exemplary” at a joint press conference, adding the country “has shown it is possible to confront the virus”.
On Saturday, Mr Kickl called Mr Kurz “a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry”.
Mr Kurz’s party, the People’s Party (ÖVP), hit back at Mr Kickl, calling him the “ringleader” of the country’s “hardened corona deniers” and the “patron saint of right-wing extremists and conspiracy theorists”.
“Kickl is driving the FPÖ into an ever-more extreme right corner”, the ÖVP’s security spokesperson Karl Mahrer said.

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