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Jewish Org Mazsihisz: Hungary Has More to Do Against Anti-Semitism

MTI-Hungary Today 2021.07.21.

Anti-Semitism is present “across the whole of Hungarian society” and “we have something to do against that phenomenon”, András Heisler, the head of Jewish federation Mazsihisz, said on Tuesday at a press conference disclosing the results of a recent survey.

He added, however, that “there are fears within the Jewish community, but Hungary does not have the kind of anti-Semitism from which those fears should directly follow”. He argued that physical attacks on Jewish people had not been reported in Hungary recently and “Hungary in that sense is in a better position than other countries in Europe”.

To illustrate the situation, Heisler said that during the first bat mitzvah ceremony held in the renovated Budapest’s Rumbach Sebestyén Street synagogue, the parents of the 12 girls concerned rejected a request for filming the event in fear of what would happen if their colleagues, neighbours and acquaintances found out that they are Jews.

Despite the government’s affirmative decisions, anti-Semitism is still present in society as a whole, Heisler said. The share of anti-Semites is still high among the supporters of all political parties and “insinuating half-sentences pertaining to and insulting us” are still prevalent, he said.

Hungary Now Safest Place in Europe for Jews - Rabbi Köves at the Hungary at First ‘Site’ Conference
Hungary Now Safest Place in Europe for Jews - Rabbi Köves at the Hungary at First ‘Site’ Conference

Hungary is probably the safest place for Jews in Europe at the moment, said Chief Rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation (EMIH) Slomó Köves at the international “Hungary at First ‘Site’” press conference organized by the Friends of Hungary Foundation, Hungary Today’s publisher, held online this year due to the pandemic. Although a part […]Continue reading

Citing 2019 data, Endre Hann, the head of pollster Median, said that 36 percent of Hungary’s adult population could be considered anti-Semitic.

Anti-Semitism is usually combined with a pro-order, conservative or extreme-right way of thinking, its advocates brand homosexuality as immoral, would limit the number of people of colour in Hungary, introduce strict anti-abortion and anti-migration measures, and support the re-introduction of capital punishment, he said.

There are staunch anti-Semites among the followers of all parties, he said, adding that 40 percent of them are supporting Fidesz, 16 percent Jobbik, 9 percent the Democratic Coalition, 8 percent the Socialists and 2 percent Momentum.

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“Jews in Hungary are safe, but there would be a lot more to do” - Interview with Péter Kirschner

Hungarian Jews can live in safety, their cultural live are thriving, but there would be a lot more to do, and unfortunately Hungarians still score high in xenophobia, says Péter Kirschner, leader of the Hungarian Jewish Cultural Association (MAZSIKE), the first, biggest and neutral Hungarian Jewish cultural organization, and manager of a number of important […]Continue reading

In 2019 the largest share of anti-Semites was registered in the Jobbik camp, Hann said.

All in all, anti-Semitism is not in the focus of public thinking in Hungary, and the general perception of Jews is much better than that of other ethnic groups, he said.

Featured photo illustration by Tibor Illyés/MTI