According to a study by Tel Aviv University, the number of attacks against the Jewish community has increased drastically worldwide in the past year, but Hungary remains one of the safest countries for Jews in Europe. At the European Jewish Association (EJA) conference in Budapest, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén stressed that Hungary will not give in to any kind of anti-Semitic phenomenon, be it far-right or far-left, jihadist, or anti-Israeli. The aim of the conference is for Jewish community leaders to share their challenges and for participants to draw up a joint action plan to protect the Jewish community.
This article was originally published on our sister-site, Ungarn Heute.
According to a study presented Monday at the annual conference of the European Jewish Association (EJA) in Budapest, the best quality of life for Jewish communities in Europe can be found in Hungary and Italy, followed by Denmark, the United Kingdom, Austria, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Spain, France, Poland, and Belgium, state news agency MTI reported.
Of the 12 countries where most Jews live in Europe, Jews in Denmark and Hungary feel safest, and Hungary has had the fewest attacks against the Jewish community.
Slomó Köves, Chief Rabbi of The Association of Hungarian Jewish Communities (EMIH), also emphasized at the conference that
Hungary today is one of the safest places for European Jewry.”
Zsolt Semjén said that the relationship between the Jewish denominations and the Hungarian state is “perfectly regulated,” as all Jewish institutions – kindergartens, schools, hospitals, and social institutions – are financed by the state, as are state institutions with similar tasks.
In Hungary, there is zero-tolerance for anti-Semitism, the Holocaust is taught in schools, of course, there is a Remembrance Day, and the law against hate speech guarantees that the horrors of the Holocaust cannot be denied or relativized,”
the Deputy Prime Minister said.
Semjén said he also considers anti-Israeli sentiments a form of anti-Semitism, and assured the Jewish community that the government in Hungary and in the European Union will take action against it.
Israel can count on Hungary, and within the European Union we will veto any measure that unfairly attacks Israel,
In his welcome address, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, President of the European Jewish Association (EJA), pointed out: “One of the biggest problems for Jewish communities in Europe is the restriction of religious freedom. In several countries, kosher slaughter and circumcision of children, which are important for Jewish ritual life, have been banned or are on the verge of being banned.
Stavros Kalafatis, Deputy Minister of Interior of Greece, stressed the recent anti-Semitic phenomena in Europe, the attacks on the Jewish community in Copenhagen, Brussels, and Paris, as well as the vandalism of Jewish cemeteries and Holocaust memorials, require a joint approach against anti-Semitism.
According to a BBC report, anti-Semitic sentiment has increased dramatically in Western countries. The report blames this in part on social media and the spread of conspiracy theories about the COVID pandemic, but omits to mention the effects of immigration from regions where anti-Jewish sentiments are endemic.
Featured image via Balázs Mohai/MTI