Shlomo Köves, the Chief Rabbi of EMIH, gave an interview to Mandiner, wherein he contested the claim highlighted by Telex in its coverage of the recent antisemitism survey conducted by the Action and Protection Foundation (TEV).
“Hungary ranks first in antisemitism, with anti-Jewish sentiment in Hungary rivaling that of Muslims in Western Europe”
This was the title of a recent Telex report on the European-wide research of the Action and Protection Foundation, founded by Köves with partial government support.
According to the Chief Rabbi, the claim in the catchy title is unsubstantiated and it is misleading to highlight it, as it does not faithfully reflect the key findings of the otherwise groundbreaking survey:
“The comparison of the prejudice of Muslims in Western Europe with the prejudice of the Hungarian society as a whole is fundamentally unprofessional because there is no official record of the religion of citizens in European countries. So the picture of Muslims who professed to be Muslims in the survey in question cannot be considered representative of Muslims in Western Europe as a whole. Not to mention the fact that extremist Muslims, who pose a real security challenge to the Jewish community, are unlikely to participate in such a survey.”
He explained that the prejudice survey had been carried out in 16 countries, and the results were compared with two other indicators: the number of antisemitic atrocities and previous research on the Jewish community’s sense of security.
“The results of the study were surprising. It indicates that there is no direct correlation between the prejudice of the majority society and the security of the Jewish community. For example, in Western Europe, the level of admitted antisemitic sentiment in the overall society is typically significantly lower than, say, in the Eastern half of Europe, such as in Hungary, yet there are 10 to 15 times more atrocities there.”
— said the Chief Rabbi of EMIH.
“It is also noteworthy that Hungary is the only EU Member State where the Jewish community’s sense of security has improved over the past 10 years, while it is in the top five or six in terms of overall prejudice.”
— said Shlomo Köves.
You can read the rest of the interview here.