The European Jewish Congress (EJC) has reacted to the success of the far-right, anti Roma and anti-Semitic party, Jobbik, in the Hungarian elections. On Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, the EJC says that Jobbik’s successes prove that acceptable Antisemitism, xenophobia and racism are still alive and well in parts of Europe. The EJC said that in reaction to these results, there needs to be a major offensive against hate in Europe.
Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC, called the results a real blow for tolerance in Europe. “This is an example of the political fragility of certain societies in Europe,” Kantor said. “As a result of the economic crisis, certain extreme parties are able to deliver a scapegoat upon which to blame all their ills.”
“Just as 65 years ago, the Jews were targeted an blamed for all of society’s ills, sadly in 2010 we see a recurrence of this obsessive anti-Semitism that is sadly growing and gaining power and respectability across the continent. We, the Jewish People, with the decent people of Europe need to conduct a major offensive against hate in Europe.”
Kantor said that the Jobbik successes were symptomatic of a new wave of far-right parties that are gaining in popularity in Europe. “The recent European elections proved that the far-right is a force in Europe and now they are bolstering those results with national election successes,” Kantor said. “We need a strong leadership to say enough, we need a stronger emphasis on education to teach democracy, acceptance of others and tolerance.”
“This growing popularity of racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic parties in Europe pose a grave danger to the fabric of Europe and could drag us back to the dark days of the past. We must act now.”
The EJC, the democratically elected representative of European Jewish communities, will seek to lobby European governments to introduce greater democratic safeguards against the growing intolerance in Europe by enacting legislation.
A major part of this effort will be to utilize the European Council of Tolerance and Reconciliation. The council, comprising of elder European statesmen, chaired by Kantor and former President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski, will seek to accelerate efforts to forge unified European anti-racism legislation that will offer European governments the means to deal effectively with racist expressions, parties and movements.