Conference exploring anti-Semitism in Europe


BUDAPEST (JTA) — Experts on anti-Semitism in Europe gathered for a conference in Budapest.

At the two-day forum that began Thursday at Central European University, the experts are exploring ways — particularly political activism — to combat the rising tide of anti-Semitism on the continent.

The embassies of Israel, the United States, the Netherlands and Poland, as well as the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, organized the event, titled "Anti-Semitism in Present-Day Europe."

Aliza Bin-Noun, the Israeli ambassador to Hungary, said the conference is part of a long-term program to fight worldwide anti-Semitism. 

Looking at Hungary, Bin-Noun told that it is a "negative phenomenon" that the xenophobic, paramilitary Hungarian Guard had inducted several hundred new members at a public ceremony Sunday in Budapest. A local court last year disbanded the far-right group, whose black uniform and insignia are reminiscent of the Nazi era, but the Guard is appealing.

Andras Kovacs, a Jewish studies professor at Central European University, told Nepszabadsag, the largest Hungarian daily, that it was "just a coincidence" that a syposium on contemporary anti-Semitism was taking place in Budapest on March 19 — the 65th anniversary of Hungary’s annexation by Germany.

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