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Anti-Semitism declining but still at average European level

January 22nd, 2014

A Jewish website reports that anti-Semitism in Hungary has declined since 2010, but is still above the level measured eight years ago. Explaining why “many people have the impression that anti-Semitism is on the rise”, the sociologist who conducted the latest survey on the subject suggests that hard-core anti-Semites may feel encouraged by the presence of a far right party in Parliament and may behave more aggressively than earlier.

On Szombat (online), sociologist András Kovács says the level of anti-Semitism in Hungary is more or less the same as in the United Kingdom, Germany or Italy, the West European countries where anti-Jewish sentiment is considered to be relatively low. On the other hand, higher anti-Semitic ratios have been measured in many East European countries.  Core anti-Semites represent about 15 per cent of the population (7 points down from 22 per cent in 2010), while 60 per cent decidedly reject anti-Jewish stereotypes and sentiments. Even among Jobbik voters, over 50 per cent have turned out not to be anti-Semitic. However, while the ratio of Holocaust deniers is low even among anti-Semites, almost two thirds of all respondents believe there is too much talk about the Holocaust, and reject domestic responsibility for the fate of over 400,000 Hungarian Jews in Nazi death camps. The sociologist finds it understandable that people want to see their own national community in a positive light and draws the conclusion that remembering the Holocaust may not necessarily contribute to the fight against anti-Semitism.