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Dec 11, 2019

Washington Times: Today's Hungary boldly rejects anti-Semitism and supports Jewish communities

“Hungary has one of most positive governments in Europe to Israel and is proudly one of the safest places for Jews in Europe today,” Rabbi Kovesh said.

The Washington Times has highlighted how today's Hungary boldly rejects anti-Semitism and supports Jewish communities.

The newspaper points out that two new synagogues have opened in Budapest and lists a whole host of other steps taken to stamp out anti-Semitism in the country. Here’s an extract from the renowned newspaper's article:

The Orthodox Jewish Communities Association, the umbrella organization of Chabad of Hungary, has been officially recognized and granted “special status” eligible to receive government funding and grants for educational work, 

In July 2019, Budapest was the proud host of the global Maccabi Games.

Rabbi Shlomo Kovesh, head of the Association of United Hungarian Jewish Congregations told The Jerusalem Post last month:

“The fact that the Hungarian government puts such an emphasis on recognizing all streams of Jewish affiliation, and goes out of its way to rebuild Jewish life in Hungary, tells a lot about how important the topic of its relationship to the Jewish community and relations with Israel is to the Hungarian government today. 

“Hungary has one of most positive governments in Europe to Israel and is proudly one of the safest places for Jews in Europe today,” Rabbi Kovesh added.

In July 2018, Prime Minister Victor Orbán made his first visit to the state of Israel, where he actually apologized for Hungary’s role in the Holocaust and laid out in the clearest of terms his rejection of anti-Semitism and his desire for an enhanced Hungary-Israel relationship.

This was not mere diplomatic goodwill, nor is it particularly new. Hungary consistently proves through actions, its resolve to tackle anti-Semitism within its borders, as well as its friendship and support for Israel. 

To name but a few of its accomplishments in this regard:

The “Fundamental Law of Hungary,” entered into force in 2012, officially recognized Hungarian Jewry as an inseparable part of the Hungarian nation. Additionally, just months after Mr. Orbán returned to power in 2010, Budapest’s oldest synagogue was rededicated — the first event of its kind in Central Europe in 60 years, which Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called “the symbol of a Jewish renaissance.” Moreover, pensions of Holocaust survivors have been increased and mandatory programs of the Holocaust education have been implemented in grades 5-12.  

On the global stage, Hungary’s support for Israel has been unwavering. It was announced just last week that Hungary is blocking efforts to get all 28 European Union member states to issue a joint statement condemning the U.S. decision to no longer consider Israeli settlements as illegal.

Similar initiatives occurred last year, when Hungary condemned the growing threat of anti-Semitism during the U.N. Human Rights Council’s 38th session in Geneva. Additionally, Hungary abstained from a U.N. General Assembly vote condemning President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, and also when the UNHRC voted to establish an investigation into the violence along Gaza’s border. Moreover, Hungary joined with the Czech Republic and Romania to block a joint EU statement criticizing the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem.

Read the full article here.