“Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are present together in the Arabic-Islamic world: Anti-Israel attitudes and the negation of the Holocaust, the ‘liberation of Jerusalem’ and a worldwide Jewish conspiracy theory go together as a matter of course. Yet they are clearly distinct in the Western world. While anti- Zionism is acceptable there, anti-Semitism is not at all.” – notes János Gadó, adding that in reality anti-Zionism has become a “politically correct” expression of anti-Jewish feelings.
“The opinion of poor citizens of the streets seems to be in harmony with the thoughts of part of the educated public in Hungary and in the rest of the world. Unwilling to take the events seriously and consider the challenge to our civilization, or out of jealousy and prejudices, many are (secretly) pleased with the American tragedy of the 11th September.”- Attila Novák blames the twofold nature of Western political correctness: strictly expecting the Western world (and above all, Israel) to respect differences, yet being rather tolerant towards the “difference” that the aggressive Islamic world embodies.
In August 1941 the Hungarian authorities deported some 2000 Jews, classified as non-Hungarians to Galicia – in today’s Ukraine – a territory under German occupation where the SS soon killed them. Zoltán Szirtes went to court in 1990 to sue an unknown perpetrator. He wanted to reveal what had happened. He wanted the Hungarian state to admit that this mass murder was a crime against humanity, and it could be considered as the first step of the Holocaust in Hungary. Zsuzsa Korn-Horváth describes the different stages and the final failure of the trial.
In November this year Susanne Riess-Passer, Austrian vice-chancellor visited Budapest. The politician is one of the representatives of the extreme right wing Freiheitspartei in the Austrian government. She paid a visit to the great synagogue in Dohány street, guided by a representative of the official Jewish community. The author of this article, Dániel Hevesi criticizes the leaders of the Community for not distancing themselves from the politician.
We publish a report on the participation of Jews in oriental religions. Fart of this is a series of interviews with members of the Krishna Consciousness Movement in Hungary. “There is a larger relative number of Jews among us than proportionately in Hungary” – said one of the members of the movement. “This is the case though everywhere else in the world I think one of the reasons for this is that Jews are basically rebellious and keep searching for truth. It is not by accident that many of our leaders and of our older members are Jewish.”
The Hungarian section of B’nai B’rith, with the help of some of the leading intellectuals of the country has decided to publish a collection of essays on public expressions of anti-Semitism in the course of the year 2000. The book published in English and Hungarian (Anti-Semitic Public Discourse in Hungary, 2000) was sent too many leading Hungarian public figures and several representatives of Jewish organizations, and it prompted significant feedback. We publish a review of the book.
An adoption case in Hungary has recently turned into a political scandal: the authority gave a single man who makes his living as a transvestite dancer, permission to adopt a baby. The Minister for social welfare ordered a re-examination of the case. The transvestite man insists on keeping the baby. In her essay Viktória Lugosi insists that this man has become a symbolic leader of those fighting for the rights of minorities, for the right to be different.
The authors of our feminist column tell us about contemporary Jewish women in Slovenia and Moldova, in her report Judith Wirth explains what a traditional Jewish divorce procedure is like through the eyes of a woman. “A Jewish divorce is until today the world of men. Somebody divorcing for the first time will not know much about what awaits them when they go through the heavy door of the rabbinical office. Perhaps rabbis themselves are not willing to talk about this. This is not surprising because it would be uncomfortable to inform a woman about how she would have to take part in an event which should really be about her life as well, but in fact she’ll only be one of the extras there.”