BUDAPEST ---- January 18, 2013 --- A joint delegation of the European Jewish Parliament (EJP), the European Jewish Union (EJU) and the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE) expressed their concerns about the rise of the extreme-right Hungarian Jobbik party and its repeated anti-Semitic and racist speeches, during meetings in Budapest with the country's political leadership and representatives of the Jewish community.
During the two-day visit, on Wednesday and Thursday, the delegation held political meetings with the President of the Hungarian Parliament, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of State for Religion, the Mayor of Budapest, Members of Parliament and leaders of the Opposition.
The delegation was led by EJP Co-Chairman Joel Rubinfeld, EJU CEO Tomer Orni and RCE Director General Menachem Margolin, together with EJU Chief Media Officer Oleg Rabinovich and Hungarian Members of European Jewish Parliament Shlomo Kֳ¶ves, Daniel Bodnar and Ferenc Olti.
They urged the Hungarian authorities to strengthen the country's legislative arsenal against hateful speeches and highlighted the importance of education at school in order to fight growing anti-Semitism in the country.
ֲ«Hungary is today at the European epicentre of raising anti-Semitism and racism. We intend to work together with the Hungarian Government on isolating the hate-preacher politicians,ֲ» EU CEO Tomer Orni said after the meetings.
ֲ«Jobbik is today planting the seeds of hate which, if strong measures are not taken, will tomorrow create a generation of anti-Semites and racists. Legal tools and education are urgently needed to avoid it to happen,ֲ» EJP Co-Chairman Joel Rubinfeld stressed.
RCE Director General Menachem Margolin added: ֲ«We got the impression the country's leaders see the situation as we do and are ready to make the efforts needed to fight against anti-Semisitm in their country. As per their request we will be at their disposal to assist them achieving this mission.ֲ»
Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation Head Rabbi Shlomo Kֳ¶ves said: ֲ«Hungary's largest Eastern European Jewish community is welcoming every helping hand in trying to withhold the louder and louder hate speech spreading in our country. On behalf of the the two major Jewish congragations EMIH and MAZSIHISZ we are thankful for the delegation of EJP and EJU.ֲ»
During the visit, members of the delegation also met the President of the Federation of Jewish Community of Hungary (MAZSIHISZ), Dr. Peter Feldmajer, and visited various Jewish sites in Budapest, amongst them a Jewish school, synagogues and the historical Jewish quarter of Budapest.
The European Jewish Union is an organisation committed to fostering Jewish life and interests in Europe.
Initiated by the EJU and inaugurated earlier this year, the European Jewish Parliament is an innovative forum voicing the thoughts, beliefs and ideas as well as concerns of European Jews. It is composed of 120 elected members from 47 countries across Europe.
The Rabbinical Center of Europe provides help and assistance to European Jewish communities wherever they may be.