In recent days, the Hungarian government passed a resolution to invest 1.5 million Euro in the course of 2019 to combat anti-Semitism across Europe. The government’s resolution, which was advanced by the Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Office, Minister Gergely Gulyás, will enter into effect from the beginning of next year, and from the 2020 fiscal year it will become a yearly budget line. The budget is dedicated to support a variety of projects and programs in the field of the justice, jurisdiction research and education system. In addition to it, it will also fund a special, anti-Semitic incidents’ hotline.
Activities across Europe will be supervised by the best practices elaborated by members of the Hungarian Jewish community who established and run the Action and Protection Foundation (APF). APF was founded in 2012 by Rabbi Shlomo Koves, Chief Rabbi of EMIH Association of United Hungarian Jewish Congregations. In order to advance its goals, the Foundation and its activities will be incorporated into the framework of a new association called the Europe Action and Protection League (APL) whose main offices will be located in Brussels, capital of the European Union.
The following activities are essential parts of the programs supported by the recent resolution: Comprehensive evaluation of local justice systems in all EU members, advising on unified legislation for the sake of effectively battling anti-Semitism in each respective states.; opening a 24-hour anti-Semitic incident report hotline ; comprehensive analytics of state curricula and educational materials applied in EU states; monitoring anti-Semitism, with close watch over BDS activities, in all 28 member states of the European Union and all official languages, as well as in Arabic and Turkish.
The initiating entity of European League, the Hungarian Action and Protection Foundation has achieved a long list of successful initiatives throughout the past years. The Foundation served as a key advisor in drafting the fourth amendment to Hungary’s Fundamental Law; proposed the amendment of criminal code of Hungary regarding incitement against the Jewish community; commenced over 100 legal procedures of anti-Semitic incidents; and inspected the national curriculum and educational materials from the perspective of acting against any content that may be harmful to the Jewish nation, State of Israel, or memory of the Holocaust. Moreover, since launching its operations, the Foundation prepared monthly reports based on the recommended methodology of the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE).
Rabbi Shlomo Koves, Chief Rabbi of EMIH – Association of United Hungarian Jewish Congregation, commented: “We as a community value action and attribute far less significance to talk. In our modern world, which floods us with assorted narratives where truth is constantly being challenged, actions are of utmost importance. Hungary is contributing in a fairly significant way to the battle against anti-Semitism, and I express my appreciation to the government for this. I call upon other European governments to take action. With the recent augment of anti-Semitism, the days of talk have long passed; it’s time to take action.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)