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Three men charged over displaying the Israeli flag at Vienna rally

According to reports, when the men displayed the flag they were set upon by pro-Palestinian demonstrators

    Photo: Screenshot YouTube
    Photo: Screenshot YouTube

    Police in Vienna have charged three men for waving an Israeli flag at a rally against Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    The men attended the demonstration on December 8 near the US embassy in the Austrian capital.

    According to reports, when the men displayed the flag they were set upon by pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

    The police intervened and confiscated the Israeli flag and took details of the identities of the three men.

    The men now face a 100 euro fine or two days in jail.

    A criminal notice issued by the police said the display of the flag was “extremely provocative” and done in “a way and manner that was visible for participants at the rally and thereby produced considerable offence and provocation among the Palestinian protestors."

    According to one of the men, the anti-Israel protesters shouted “death to Israel” and called for a massacre of Jews.

    In an interview with Vice he said: “My mother is Israeli, her family are refugees from Iraq and Libya.

    “An Arab-speaking friend from Israel was able to translate some of the slogans yelled [at the rally], for example, the Arabic battle cry to massacre Jews, 'Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning,' and the Persian slogan 'Death to Israel’.'

    He said he also heard other chants of "intifada" and "child murderer Israel".

    The protest was attended by hundreds of anti-Israel activists.

    He added that he was “shocked by these slogans and did not want to leave the slogans unchallenged. Antisemitism and hate of Israel should not be tolerated".

    According to Vice, the police notice described the pro-Israel activity as "especially reckless" which "disturbed the public order".

    The man told Vice that the prosecution is "unbelievable. We simply held a flag."

    He said he and the two other men who were charged plan to seek legal aid and appeal against any conviction.

    "It can't be that antisemitic slogans can be hollered and go unpunished while showing an Israeli flag is reason to be fined," he said.

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