Opposite Trends in Hungary and Europe: Drop in number of antisemitic hate incidents in Hungary in 2018

Action and Protection Foundation annual report on antisemitic incidents in Hungary out now

For six years, Action and Protection Foundation (APF) has tracked and analyzed all known antisemitic incidents and hate crimes in Hungary. The annual report, a result of this scientific monitoring activity, presents a summary of findings on the incidents that came to public notice the previous year. While the number of registered antisemitic hate incidents in Hungary has decreased in recent years, the Foundation noted a rise of physical assault in 2018, as well as an increasing trend Europe-wide that contrasts with the drop in Hungary.

The report deals with two types of incident: hate crime and hate-motivated incidents. The two types of incident are collectively called hate incidents. The study collects all antisemitism motivated hate crime and hate incidents.

“One of the most important conditions of combatting antisemitism is an accurate understanding of the causes of anti-Jewish attitudes, and awareness of how prevalent it really is. Therefore, the main goal of Action and Protection Foundation is to eliminate gaps of knowledge around the issue. The community cannot really be guaranteed protection without close analysis of the information provided by the regular monthly monitoring activity” Kálmán Szalai, Executive Director of (APF), emphasized.

The annual overview and monthly monitoring reports are prepared according to the method proposed by the OSCE. The TEV analysis presents antisemitic hate crimes and incidents in two formats; first broken down into summary monthly reports, and then in progress over the year – this showed that the number of incidents in April was exceptionally high in 2018.

APF registered a total of 32 anti-Semitic hate incidents, 3 of which were assault, 10 were vandalism, and 19 were hate speech.

Compared with previous years, this number showed a decrease, with the report on the previous year marking the number of incidents identified by APF in 2017 at 36, while the figures in earlier years turned out as follows: 48 incidents were identified in 2016, 52 in 2015, and 37 incidents were reported in 2014. Nonetheless since the Foundation has been monitoring, the highest number of assaults was registered last year, with three known cases in 2018.

Most of the incidents registered last year were isolated incidents. APF did not find a pattern to most of the incidents or that they were organized — though the graffiti categorized as vandalism does assume preparation by the perpetrators. All perpetrators were male.

The decrease in antisemitic hate incidents in Hungary is more notable, because the Europe-wide trend for the same period has been the opposite. In the two countries that are home to the two largest Jewish communities in Europe, the United Kingdom and France, the number of antisemitic hate incidents has grown significantly as compared with the previous year’s data. The situation in Hungary appears more favorable not only in terms of the tendency, but also in proportion: while in the UK there are 25 antisemitic hate crimes committed for every million persons in the population, and 8.1 in France, the same figure only comes to 3.4 in Hungary.

Download the complete report at: Download

Budapest, 10 April 2019