Yesterday, Hungary observed the Day of Remembrance for the Hungarian Victims of the Holocaust, an annual memorial put on the national calendar by a previous Orbán Government. Today, critics are again charging Prime Minister Orbán and this government with anti-Semitism, a cheap and cynical political tactic that insults those who suffer from real anti-Semitism. So here – once again – is what these people will never tell you about what the Orbán Governments have done on issues concerning our Jewish community and the fight against anti-Semitism:
Established in 2001, along with the Day of Remembrance, the Holocaust Museum. Promulgated in 2012 the Fundamental Law, our new constitution, recognizing Hungarian Jewry as an inseparable part of the Hungarian nation. Passed some of the most far-reaching provisions in Europe to punish Holocaust denial, hate speech and the display of hate symbols. Established a zero-tolerance policy on anti-Semitism and effectively banned paramilitary groups that were intimidating Jewish and Roma citizens. The Orbán-nominated president of Hungary and a member of the Orbán Government apologized for the state’s role in the Holocaust. Introduced Holocaust education in the national curriculum. Reached an agreement, after many years of impasse, with the Claims Conference and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Hungary began to pay what it owes. Devoted resources to the reconstruction of synagogues, Jewish cemeteries and built the first new synagogue in Budapest in 80 years. Raised the pensions of Holocaust survivors. Stood up as a staunch supporter of the state of Israel in the EU and the United Nations.
To those who keep playing the anti-Semitism card: enough already.