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Die Presse - Austria | Friday, November 30, 2012

Austrian neutrality would have been better

Days ahead of the vote at the UN General Assembly Austria had made it clear that it would support the Palestinian bid. In view of the country's historical responsibility such a clear-cut position was inappropriate, the liberal-conservative daily Die Presse warns: "Austria's taking the lead on this may be the continuation of [former Austrian chancellor] Bruno Kreisky's Middle East policy. The relationship with Israel, which has repeatedly come under strain in the last decades, is not exactly beneficial. ... Even if such a thing as collective guilt should not exist, in the awareness of a collective, state responsibility Austria's leaders should always bear this in mind. Rejecting the Palestinian cause out of hand would likewise not have been a solution. But perhaps a little more of the frequently evoked neutrality would have been a good approach in this particular matter: other states also had the intention of abstaining."

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