Martin Engelberg: A Pro-Israel Advocate in Austrian Politics

Martin Engelberg is an Austrian psychoanalyst, management consultant and politician from the Austrian People’s Party. He was sworn in as a member of the National Council on November 9, 2017. In 2012, he accomplished three mandates on the Israelite Community (IKG) board with his list Chaj – Jewish Life. In 2017, he chose not to run for office in the Israelite Community because he stood for the ÖVP in the National Council election. Further, The Austrian Chapter of the Transatlantic Friends of Israel was chaired by Martin Engelberg.

Martin Engelberg is an individual with a pro-Israel stance. Engelberg emphasises his support for Israel. He often notes his familial connections, conversations with Israelis and Palestinians, and participation in political missions. Further, He attributes the recent rise in anti-Semitism to deliberate provocations by Hamas. He criticises the sympathy for Palestinians, especially from left-wing and anti-Semitic groups.

Engelberg sees the Middle East conflict as primarily a regional political issue. He criticises the UN for its historically one-sided stance against Israel. According to Engelberg, Austria has taken a positive stance towards Israel and could mediate in the Middle East.

In the wake of the international response to the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel in 2023, Engelberg criticised the UN and its member states after a considerable majority voted in favour of the Middle East resolution in October 2023. There is discrimination against Israel in the UN, “which is tragic, especially when you consider that the UN was founded in the shadow of the Holocaust,” said Engelberg in the ORF program Hohes Haus. 

Engelberg’s controversial comparison of Hamas with the National Socialists provoked outrage. He argues that the Hamas attackers were “in a certain aspect” worse than the National Socialists since the brutal attack “still had the desire to cheer the brutal crimes all over the world.”

In 2021, He criticised a UN resolution against Israel. Martin stated, “The surreal torrent of one-sided resolutions criticising Israel out of all proportion serves to demonise the world’s only Jewish state. This is an irritation, and we Europeans have a special duty to end it.”

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