Xpat Opinion: U.S. Congressman: “Hungary's PM Orbán Is Taking A Leading Role In” Combating Anti-Semitism

  • 10 Feb 2014 8:00 AM
Xpat Opinion: U.S. Congressman: “Hungary's PM Orbán Is Taking A Leading Role In” Combating Anti-Semitism
Regarding Hungary, anti-Semitism is very much in focus these days. That’s due in no small part to the fact that the Hungarian government has declared 2014 a commemorative year of the Hungarian Holocaust. It’s a subject of interest to many, including U.S. and European friends, because, unfortunately, anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe.

Some say that the Orbán Government’s efforts to combat anti-Semitism never receive due recognition. They may be surprised to learn that within less than a week, two U.S. Congressmen from Florida, a Democrat and a Republican, spoke up in support of the Government’s efforts. Late last month, Representative Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL, 25th district), an old friend of Hungary, spoke about the issue and more recently, Ted Deutch (D-FL 21st district) expressed his appreciation of the Orbán-government’s work to counter anti-Semitism. Seems that in Florida, there is a bipartisan agreement that Hungary is making progress on this front. Here’s Representative Díaz-Balart’s full statement, before it goes up on the Congressional Record:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commend Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for the actions his government is taking to combat anti-Semitism. Under his leadership, Hungary has stressed a “zero tolerance policy” toward anti-Semitic attitudes, and has focused on law enforcement and legal measures, Holocaust education and remembrance, and support for Jewish cultural renaissance in Hungary.

Measures implemented by Prime Minister Orbán and his government, including the 50% pension increase to Holocaust survivors and the agreement on compensation of Holocaust survivors living in foreign countries, are only two of the numerous actions Hungarians are taking to ensure that those who have suffered have a dignified retirement.

We must never forget the terrible atrocities that occurred during the Holocaust. I want to remind my colleagues that steps can be taken to aid the painful memories and create awareness of these past events. Prime Minister Orbán is taking a leading role in the battle against anti-Semitic voices in Europe and throughout the world. Later this year, Hungary will inaugurate a memorial site to commemorate the child victims of the Holocaust. In addition, Hungary is investing resources to include Holocaust

Remembrance Day in public schools and is recognizing the people who helped save Jewish lives during that time period.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in standing in solidarity with those that have been oppressed and to continue to shine light on this dark history to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. I am honored to pay tribute to Prime Minister Orbán and his government for their continued service to the people of Hungary on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing these remarkable efforts.

By Ferenc Kumin

Source: A Blog About Hungary

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