Hungary is one of the safest countries for Jews in Europe

Leaders of the Hungarian Jewish community and academics discussed the situation of Jewry in Hungary at a conference organised by the Danube Institute.

On February 28, the Danube Institute held a conference on the occasion of the publication of a two-volume book in English, „Antisemitism in Hungary: Appearance and Reality .” The book was edited by Danube Institute researchers, and it presents the life of Hungarian Jewry through in-depth interviews with leaders of several Jewish NGOs and religious communities.

The event was opened by Yacov Hadas-Handelsman, Israel’s Ambassador to Budapest, who pointed out that according to a survey, Hungary and Italy are the safest countries for Jews in Europe. He also warned that modern-day antisemitism often manifests itself as anti-Zionism.

István Kiss, Executive Director of the Danube Institute, said that we must always combat antisemitism; however, based on the book, and despite negative Western trends, the situation in Hungary has clearly improved over the last decade.

Jeffrey Kaplan, the Danube Institute’s visiting scholar from the US, who edited the book, said: „The Western mainstream media often paints a distorted picture of Hungary, which is clearly contradicted by field research and interviews.”

According to András Kovács, a professor at CEU, antisemitism can manifest in forms other than anti-Israel sentiment and violence, and he claims that all forms of antisemitism must be combated.