Survey: 36 percent of the Hungarian adult population is considered antisemitic

According to the latest survey on the situation of antisemitism in Hungary, antisemitism is present in Hungarian society as a whole, there is still work to be done against the phenomenon, the president of the Association of Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz) said at a press conference.

András Heisler said that there are fears within the Jewish community, but there is no antisemitism in Hungary today from which these fears would follow “directly”. This means that there are no physical atrocities, so Hungary is in a better position in this respect than Western Europe or other European countries, he added.

He stressed that despite positive government decisions, there is a perception that antisemitism is present in society as a whole. There is an unacceptable level of rejection of Jews among supporters of all parliamentary parties, and it is still fashionable to say “a speech consisting of bitten half-sentences, which suggests a lot and hurts us,” he said. Unfortunately, often right- and left-wing politicians are “playing with signs related to the relativization of the Holocaust,” which is very dangerous, said András Heisler.

Endre Hann, executive director of the Median Institute for Public Opinion and Market Research, who participated in the research, said that according to the survey, based on 2019 data, 36 percent of the adult population can be considered antisemitic. As he said, the survey has been conducted regularly since 2013, using the same methodology, with personal interviews with 1,200 people. This shows that the proportion of so-called cognitive antisemites was significantly higher than the proportion of actually antisemites in 2019, ie those who do not think of themselves as antisemitic, but still have feelings related to antisemitism in their thinking.

While this group accounted for 53 percent of people in 2013, their number rose to 63 percent by 2018, and it dropped to 56 percent by 2019. According to him, antisemitism is most associated with partisan, conservative, far-right thinking, meaning those who consider homosexuality to be an immoral thing, limit the number of people of color in the country, tighten abortions, and increase the number of abortions and refugees.

At the same time, he continued, voters from all parties included strongly antisemites, with 40 per cent supporting Fidesz, 16 per cent supporting Jobbik, 9 per cent supporting the DK, 8 per cent supporting the MSZP and 2 per cent supporting the Momentum. According to 2019 data, Jobbik's supporters had the highest proportion of antisemites, he added.

Overall, however, it can be said that antisemitism is not in the forefront of public thinking in Hungary, and the perception of Jews is significantly better than that of those belonging to other ethnic groups, said Endre Hann.

2020 antisemitism incidents in Hungary

Anikó Félix, the operative director of the Ignác Goldziher Jewish Historical and Cultural Research Institute, who also participated in the research, said: antisemitism is different in Hungary from Western Europeans. The number of physical atrocities is small, yet it is present in everyday life. The Mazsihisz security service registered 56 antisemitic manifestations in 2019 and 70 in 2020, and their number has been steadily increasing since 2015.

In the hate speech category, 20 cases were recorded in 2019 and 31 in 2020. This category also includes, for example, the use of the swastika or the Star of David with antisemitic content. In the years under review, the most common perpetrators were linked to the Our Country Movement, the researcher said.

According to his information, 20 incidents were recorded in 2019 and 29 in 2020 in the so-called public antisemitism category. These are cases where certain historical events are presented in a way that is of concern to Judaism, or openly antisemitic people receive public recognition.

In these cases, the government and the pro-government media are overrepresented. For example, a campaign against György Soros has been going on for years, “which also contains certain defining elements of antisemitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories,” Anikó Félix described the results of the research.

Source: telex