update deskAntisemitism

Hungary condemns rising anti-Semitism within halls of UN Human Rights Council

“Jewish communities are enduring growing threat manifested in hate speech, harassment, vandalism and physical violence in several regions,” said Hungarian Ambassador Zsuzsanna Horváth.

Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room at the Palace of Nations in Geneva, the meeting room of the U.N. Human Rights Council. Credit: Ludovic Courtès via Wikimedia Commons.
Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room at the Palace of Nations in Geneva, the meeting room of the U.N. Human Rights Council. Credit: Ludovic Courtès via Wikimedia Commons.

Hungary condemned the growing threat of anti-Semitism during the U.N. Human Rights Council’s 38th session in Geneva on Monday.

“Jewish communities are enduring growing threat manifested in hate speech, harassment, vandalism and physical violence in several regions,” said Hungarian Ambassador Zsuzsanna Horváth. “Incidents of anti-Semitic violence targeting Jewish or non-Jewish individuals, their property as well as educational facilities, cultural and religious heritage sites are seen as attacks on our core values and identity,” she said.

“The worrying rise of anti-Semitic hatred and violence, however, is not a problem for Jewish communities alone, but an affront against humanity that affects the societies in which it rises and which needs to be countered by the international community as a whole,” said Horváth.

The joint statement was delivered by Hungary on behalf of 21 co-sponsors including Albania, Croatia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Poland, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Austria, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Australia, Germany, Montenegro, Belgium, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Greece, the United Kingdom, Canada and Liechtenstein.

The World Jewish Congress, which worked to initiate and promote the statement, commended Hungary for its role.

“The World Jewish Congress commends Hungary for responding to the urgency of this matter and taking the lead on this crucial initiative to address the worrying rise of anti-Semitic hatred and violence around the world, and for making this statement come into fruition,” said WJC CEO and executive vice president Robert Singer.

Last month, the United States pulled out of the UNHRC citing its continued bias against Israel.

The stance by Hungary at the UNHRC comes as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is scheduled to visit Israel from July 18-20.

Last week, the Hungarian leader held talks with Israel’s National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat in Budapest as part of a meeting of security officials from the Visegrad Group, which includes Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Hungary has been one of Israel’s top supporters in the European Union in recent years.

In December, it abstained from a U.N. General Assembly vote condemning U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, and also in May when the UNHRC voted to establish an investigation into the violence along Gaza’s border. It also joined with the Czech Republic and Romania to block a joint E.U. statement criticizing the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem.

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