Wednesday, 31 October 2018 18:23

Hungary - Public broadcaster spreads disinformation over antisemitism in Western Europe

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.

This article part of the Media Monitoring Highlights of October, a monthly overview of the most significant results of our monitoring of traditional and new media in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, and the United Kingdom. 

hiradoDate of broadcast: 26 October 2018

Media Outlet:  Hirado, TV programme on MTVA, Hungarian public broadcaster.


Headline: “Members of Jewish communities leave Western Europe”

Description of the anti-Muslim content: The Hirado news report, broadcast on TV at prime time, claims that Jewish people are leaving Western Europe because of the threats posed to them by Muslims and migrants. “In recent years, Muslim immigrants to the European Union have come to such an enormous number that a kind of anti-Semitic atmosphere has emerged in a number of Western European cities, - explained Daniel Deák.” The piece also praises Hungary for providing a safe space for Jews: “Hungary is not the country from which masses of Jewish people move to Jerusalem, but they are starting to leave Western European countries.”

Myth debunked: Hirado is right in stating that antisemitic attacks occur in Western Europe. It is also right to say that there has been recorded an increase in numbers of Jews leaving for Israel from some European countries. But the article is blatantly deceiving and false when it asserts that “the attacks are clearly attributable to migration”. This claim, around which the whole piece is built, is heavily biased and not proven. It is based on the interview of a single Hungarian expert and it does not explicitly state the sources of the figures on hate crimes in Britain, France, and Germany. Among the very small body of research that exists, the most important is the 5-nation study "Antisemitism and Immigration in Western Europe Today. Is there a connection?" by the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism that sheds light on the issue and refutes that antisemitism is on the rise because of refugees. In saying that Hungary is a safe place for Jews (implying that this is thanks to the anti-immigration and anti-Muslim government policies), the piece also completely fails to understand and recognise antisemitism in Hungary. Two-thirds of Hungarian Jews believe antisemitism is a serious problem in their country, and about half say they have experienced it firsthand, according to a survey done by sociologists András Kovács and Ildikó Barna in partnership with the Szombat Jewish paper and TEV.

More to read:

 Hungary, anti-Semitism and my lost Jewish ancestors

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