Whereas anti-Semitism in Europe’s western countries is growing, Jews in Hungary live in safety, Fidesz MEP Balázs Hidvéghi told a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg late on Tuesday.
“The only possible approach to anti-Semitism is zero tolerance,” Hidvéghi told the session dedicated to efforts against racism and hatred. “Hungary’s public and politicians fully agree on that point.”
Hidvéghi warned that the appearance of radical Islamic anti-Semitism in Europe had contributed to an increase in the number of anti-Semitic attacks. “This is another reason for firm action against illegal migration.”
Speaking for the Croatian presidency of the Council of the European Union, Nikolina Brnjac raised concern that xenophobia was growing in the EU. Whereas legal means against discrimination and racism do exist, she said, these need to be embedded in national legislation. Hate crimes should be addressed firmly by the police of member states, she said, adding that it was also important that the victims themselves should turn to the authorities.
EU Commissioner Vera Jourova said hatred endangered democracy and cultural diversity. Xenophobia, she said, was present in many areas of the EU and hate speech was spreading online. The European Commission is making efforts to fight this, she noted.
Anna Donáth, MEP of Hungary’s opposition Momentum, said that xenophobia and discrimination were promoted by populist and racist movements. Populist parties of the EU are helping each other in their campaigns, which could create a domino effect and soon destroy the community’s values, she warned.
Referring to Hungary, Donáth insisted that its government was waging an anti-Roma campaign. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán “embraces segregation”, she said, adding that he objected to the payments of court-ordered compensation to Roma who had been segregated as students.
In the featured photo illustration: Fidesz MEP Balázs Hidvéghi