JERUSALEM—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has praised Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for their con,tribution to the fight against anti-Semitism.
He was reacting to the results of a CNN poll in seven European countries into European attitudes toward Jews showing that a third of Europeans polled said they knew just a little or nothing at all about the Holocaust, more than a quarter believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance and nearly one in four said Jews have too much influence in conflict and wars across the world.
According to the polls’ results, 34% of Europeans surveyed know just a little or have never heard of the Holocaust, while 20% of French people between the ages of 18 and 34 said they had never heard of the Holocaust.
“I’m concerned, because I think anti-Semitism is an ancient disease and when it rears its ugly head, it first attacks the Jews, but it never stops with that, and then it sweeps entire societies, as happened obviously in mid-century Europe,” Netanyahu told CNN in an interview. “First in Germany and then throughout all of Europe and the consequences were horrible.”
He added : “I’m seeing this in Eastern Europe. I saw Viktor Orban in Hungary — he’s opened up a center against anti-Semitism. I saw Sebastian Kurz in Austria — he just held a conference against anti-Semitism, and that’s encouraging.”
Netanyahu was referring to the opening in Budapest of a new association ‘’Action and Protection League of Europe’’ which will monitor and fight anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in all EU member states. The Hungarian government will provide financial aid to expand the association’s activities to fight anti-Semitism throughout the EU.
The new association has been founded at the initiative of the United Hungarian Jewish Congregations (EMIH) which has been tracking antisemitism in Hungary since 2012 under the framework of the Action and Protection Foundation.