On December 5th Congregation Bais Naftoli hosted the Honorable Szabolcs Takacs, Hungarian State Secretary for European Union Affairs and Ambassador Extraordinary for the Prime Minister.
Ambassador Takacs was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by attorney Andrew Friedman, President of the synagogue, for the recent vote of Hungary taking the side of Israel on the issue of labeling of products at the European Union. In accepting the Commemoration, Ambassador Takacs enumerated the efforts of Hungary to fight anti-Semitism, which is currently on the rise in Europe. The Ambassador said that Hungary has zero tolerance for anti-Semitism and noted that Holocaust education is taught in the national curriculum.
Takacs also met with the USC Shoah Foundation, The Holocaust Museum, The Los Angeles Hungarian House and the American Jewish University and noted that Hungary is chairing the International Holocaust Alliance in Brussels, an organization of more than 30 countries. The Alliance was designed to combat anti-Semitism.
On December 21st Hungary made another statement of its aversion to anti-semitism when it cancelled plans to erect a statue honoring a notorious anti-semite, Bálint Hóman. The decision was made in light of public opposition by local Hungarian civil society organizations, Jewish advocacy groups, and the U.S. State Department. Human Rights First’s Susan Corke said of the decision, “The cancelation of this statue is an important signal that antisemitism will not be tolerated.”