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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Hungary Vows to ‘Crack Down’ on Antisemitism

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Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics vowed to “crack down” on antisemitism in his country through legal and political means during a conference on Jewish life and antisemitism in Europe.

“We cannot allow, especially knowing our own responsibility, antisemitism to gain strength in Hungary,” he said. “We know Hungarians were responsible for the Holocaust. Hungarians were perpetrators, and victims.”

Contemporary Hungary still has a Jewish community, even though up to 600,000 Hungarian Jews were killed in the Holocaust. In recent years, the country has seen a rise in antisemitism. The far-right Jobbik party, which has displayed anti-Semitic tendencies, holds 43 out of 386 seats. in the Hungarian Parliament.

Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid spoke at the parliament during the conference, commenting that the parliament building once had a sign barring entry “for Jews and dogs,” according to Reuters. Lapid’s own father had escaped a shooting on the banks of the Danube river with thousands of other Jews in 1945.  ”There is a stain on the honor of this house,” Lapid said of the Hungarian Parliament.

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