ICCJ supports Budapest rally

This week an ICCJ delegation visited the Hungarian capital Budapest. As many others world wide, we became aware of the political situation that might be difficult for some groups in Hungarian society. The week of our visit there was another antisemitic incident in the Hungarian Parliament.

A member of the ultra-right wing Jobbik party proposed to have a list with the names of all Jewish members of Parliament as Jews are a potential danger to the security of the Hungarian state. The leadership of the Federation of Jewish communities in Hungary told the ICCJ delegation that Jobbik now, after having caused already much indignation, crossed the line.

The ICCJ delegation was in Budapest in order to meet with our Hungarian member organizations as well as leaders of both the Jewish and Christian communities to try to learn from first-hand about the situation in Hungary. We wanted to hear their opinion about the situation and what role interfaith dialogue organizations and the ICCJ might play in combating hate speech, discrimination and antisemitism in Hungary.

As a first result of this visit the letter to be found below, was sent to the Federation of the Jewish Communities in Hungary to express our solidarity as a major rally will be held on Sunday December 2. A detailed report on the visit to Budapest will follow soon.

Letter to the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary.
Dr. Peter Feldmajer, President
Mr. Gusztav Zoltai, Director
Dr. Robert Frohlich, Chief-Rabbi

Heppenheim, November 30, 2012


Following our meeting two days ago, the delegation of the International Council of Christians and Jews wants to thank you for the warm welcome you gave us during our visit this week in Budapest. We have met with representatives of several Jewish and Christian institutions as well as with both the Hungarian ICCJ members, the Hungarian Council of Christians and Jews and the Hungarian Christian-Jewish Society.

During all our meetings but certainly in our discussion with you, it became clear that the time has come to stand up and to resist the apparent antisemitic and xenophobic tendencies in present Hungarian society and in Hungarian politics in particular. Although the evaluation of the results of our visit to Budapest has not yet been completed, we feel that, given the rally on Sunday December 2, we now already want to express our solidarity with all Jews and Christians in Hungary, indeed with all men of good will in your country, to combat the extremism that provides a fertile ground for reviving the evil spirits of the past.

We know you are very much involved in organizing the meeting this Sunday. We therefore would like to let you know that, when you feel it could be appropriate and helpful, the International Council of Christians and Jews would have no objections to be mentioned publicly as counting itself among the institutions that fully support your cause.

We hope to be in touch with you again in the near future. The International Council of Christians and Jews wishes you all the best in your efforts to free your country from all forms of antisemitism, racism and xenophobia.


Revd. Dick Pruiksma
ICCJ General Secretary.

Picture right to left: Ms Rebecca Brückner YLC chair, Mrs Liliane Apotheker ICCJ Board, Rabbi Ehud Bandel ICCJ Board, Dr Peter Feldmajer President Federation Hungarian Jews, Revd Dick Pruiksma ICCJ General Secretary, Mr. Gusztav Zoltai  Managing Director Federation Hungarian Jews, Chief Rabbi Dr. Robert Frőlich and Dr. Markus Himmelbauer Austrian CCJ.