Jewish groups ask Kerry to fight anti-Semitism in Hungary

WASHINGTON (JTA) – A dozen Jewish organizations sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressing their concern over the rise of anti-Semitism in Hungary.

The May 14 letter commended Kerry for his offices’ recent human rights report that detailed the rise of the xenophobic and anti-Semitic Jobbik party and encouraged Kerry “to keep the issue of intolerance and discrimination squarely on the U.S.-Hungarian bilateral agenda.”

The Jobbik party has called for the creation of a list of Jewish public officials and labeled Jews a national security risk, according to the letter, which also asked Kerry to raise this issue personally in any dealings he has with Hungarian officials.

There have been attempts toward “rehabilitation and glorification of World War II-era figures, who were openly anti-Semitic and pro-fascist,” the Jewish leaders wrote.

“We view U.S. leadership as indispensable to the advancement of human rights,” the letter continued.

Signers of the letter included representatives from Agudath Israel of America, American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith International, Hadassah, HIAS, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Jewish Federations of North America, NCSJ, the Rabbinical Assembly, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Simon Wiesenthal Center, World Jewish Congress and World Jewish Restitution Organization.

There are more than 100,000 Jews living in Hungary today.

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