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World Jewish Congress: Anti-Semitism in Europe may grow as a result of crisis

Budapest, Hungary, 9.5.2013 17:17, (ROMEA)
The logo of the World Jewish Congress.
The logo of the World Jewish Congress.

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) has warned that anti-Semitism may grow in Europe as a result of the aggravated economic crisis. A report released at the end of the WJC’s three-day general assembly in Budapest warns that politicians have a tendency to devote less attention than is necessary to this issue during economic difficulties.

"We are hoping for the best but we must prepare for the worst,” states the document, which was cited by the Austria Presse-Agentur. The document calls on the big political parties to thoroughly reject any kind of contact whatsoever with neo-Nazis.

According to the author of the report, British expert Robin Shepherd, the spread of neo-Nazi movements in Europe today is real problem. He gave the examples of Jobbik, which is the third-strongest party in the Hungarian parliament, the Golden Dawn party in Greece, and the NPD in Germany.  

The leadership of Jobbik sharply defended itself against the charges of extremism. Party spokesperson Ádám Mirkóczki said the WCJ declaration was a gross interference in the internal affairs of Hungary and charged the organization with wanting to “gain the upper hand in Hungarian domestic politics.” In his view, the Hungarian government has “embarrassed itself through its servility [toward the WCJ].”

The WCJ’s general assembly decided that the American entrepreneur Ronald Lauder will remain at the head of the global Jewish organization. The philanthropic billionaire has led the WCJ since 2007 and is active in many Jewish organizations. His business enterprises include media outlets and real estate. He is the co-owner and founder of the Central European Media Enterprises company (CME), which owns the television station TV Nova in the Czech Republic, and other stations, such as Slovakia’s TV Markíza.

The WJC assembly takes place once every four years, almost always in Jerusalem. The societal situation in Hungary however, inspired its members to hold their first-ever assembly in a Central and Eastern European country this year. Hungary has recently been criticized for rising anti-Semitism.

fk, ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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