Hirado, a TV programme on the Hungarian public broadcaster, claims that Hungary is providing a safe space for Jews because of their anti-immigration policies. This is Hungary's media monitoring highlight for October.
Many in the Jewish community’s worst nightmare came to life on Saturday when an armed gunman stormed a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, murdering eleven worshippers. It is the worst attack on the Jewish community in US history, and comes after a steady rise in antisemitic incidents and rhetoric across the country and around the world.
The French conservative magazine Valeurs Actuelles published a series of articles focused on George Soros, where he is described as “the billionaire conspiring against France”. In the 16-page long piece, published on 10 May 2018, three journalists link George Soros to the financing of a number of illegal activities, including “supporting terrorism” and “world disorder”.
Our partner in Hungary, Centre for Independent Journalism, commissioned an interview with Professor Daniel Monterescu, Associate Professor of Urban Anthropology at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Central European University. Prof. Monterescu talked about anti-Semitism and Jewish responses to the “refugee crisis”. The interview was published in 168óra (168 Hours, a weekly political news magazine in Hungary) both online and in printed version in July.
The extreme nationalist Greek newspaper Eleftheri Ora has published a number of anti-Semitic articles throughout the year. In one such article published in March this year, they accused the Democratic Left Party leader Fotis Kouvelis of being a “Jewish Communist agent” with links to George Soros. In an earlier article, the newspaper accused Mathew Nimetz, UN Special Representative for the naming dispute between Greece and Macedonia, of being a member of the Rothschild family who is involved in their global Jewish conspiracy.
Belgian right-wing youth movement ‘Schild en Vrienden’ is being investigated for antisemitic, anti-Muslim, xenophobic, racist and sexist content posted on secret Facebook groups.
In recent weeks, Chemnitz became the focus of public attention, in Germany as well as abroad. Over the course of several days, there were right-wing extremist attacks on counter-demonstrators, journalists, Muslims, and the Jewish establishment.
If one analyses the media in Europe today it becomes evident that there has been a rise and acceptance of xenophobic, racist and anti-religion narratives. This has evidently run parallel to – and quite possibly has been one of the effects of – the surge of right-wing extremism movements and of ultra-nationalist groups in many parts of the region. Some media outlets have been echoing such narratives, thus reinforcing them. Media and journalists face a serious challenge in tackling these discourses of prejudice, intolerance and hostility towards the other and otherness.
This report, authored by David Feldman and Ben Gidley, explores whether there is a connection between antisemitism and immigration in the UK. The study was launched because of a rising assumption of this connection: "There is a persistent claim that new migrants to Europe, and specifically migrants from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA migrants), carry antisemitism with them. This assertion is made to different degrees in different countries and can take different forms. Nevertheless, in Europe, the association of rising antisemitism with migrants from the MENA is widespread and needs to be evaluated."
Drawing on a review of existing quantitative and qualitative data and new qualitative research, the researchers explore whether antisemitism in the UK has risen due to an increase in immigration, specifically from the MENA region. Their conclusion, summed up: "We draw the conclusion that the rise in recorded antisemitic incidents and crimes in the UK should not be linked to the arrival of MENA migrants."
The report highlights that there has been a rise in antisemitism in the UK over the last few years. On this topic, they discuss the role of the media in depth. "Politicians and news media can have an impact on both the incidence of antisemitism and also on whether people perceive and/or report antisemitism". When discussing recommendations, based on their research, Feldman and Gidley write: "Politicians, policy makers and journalists should promote a balanced, evidence based discussion of the relationship between immigration and antisemitism."
If you want to read the "Antisemitism and Immigration in Western Europe Today: Is there a connection?" report, you can click here, or you can scroll down to the bottom of this page and download the handbook as a pdf file.