Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Chief Rabbi, Hungarian President Discuss Anti-Semitism
Yoni Kempinski, Ari Yashar
While in Hungary for the 70th anniversary of the murder of the Hungarian Jews by the Nazis on Monday, Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi David Lau and Deputy Religious Services Minister Eli Ben-Dahan met with Hungarian President Janos Ader.
The rising anti-Semitism in Hungary was a key topic in the meeting, which took place in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.
Ades announced that recently a law has come into effect that would allow civilian courts to try cases of anti-Semitic expressions, in addition to the existing option of criminal court processes. Additionally, the law allows the trial of those speaking against a community, and not just against individuals.
TEV, the umbrella organization for combating anti-Semitism in Hungary, found in a recent survey that 34% of Hungarians blame a "Jewish conspiracy" for their economic troubles, and that the far-right Jobbik party is gaining strength. Reports reveal a wide range of anti-Semitic activity, including the desecration Jewish cemeteries.
Further highlighting the trend, the Hungarian ambassador to Lebanon recently visited a “monument to jihad” belonging to the terror group Hezbollah, despite the European Union (EU) ban on the organization's "military wing." While Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has pledged a crackdown on anti-Semitism, he has been criticized for not doing enough.
Other topics concerning international cooperation came up during the meeting as well. Ben-Dahan remarked that a week ago reports surfaced that the massive funds the Palestinian Authority (PA) receives from the EU and the US are used to fund terror.
Ben-Dahan called on Ader to have Hungary use its position as an EU member-state to advance the financial war against terror, and further to support Israel in trying to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
In response, Ader stated that world history has proved that funding extremist groups for short-range goals in the end works against the interests of Western nations, and does not provide any advantage for global security, despite the claims that economic stability advances moderate forces.
Rabbi David Lau and Eli Ben-Dahan meet Hungarian President Janos Ader in Budapest Robert Balog