World Jewish Congress meeting in Budapest – We don’t clap for Orbán – Press Release

The 14th Plenary Assembly of the World Jewish Congress ended on Tuesday. Hundreds of Jewish community leaders gathered from all over the world to the General Assembly of the WJC in Budapest.

On the first night of the meeting the delegation was addressed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Prior to his speech representatives of the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS), World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) and French Union of Jewish Students (UEJF) launched the campaign “We won’t clap for Orbán”. We called upon the members of the World Jewish Congress to give Viktor Orbán the lowest possible welcome, a way to show him and show the world that we do not believe his words, attempting to disguise the rise of Antisemitism in his country. Flyers were distributed to all members of the Congress, and discussions were held with representatives of delegations and communities. During the speech, everybody in the room felt the atmosphere of a crowd that is not naive, and wanted to show it. The leading organizations of this campaign are proud that this Congress decided not to be misled and to show a strong political signal before the report on Hungary that will be submitted in few weeks at the European Union. Jewish students will continue to fight against the very principles that Mr Orban embodies.

It was absolutely crucial that the invitation of Prime Minister Viktor Orban had no chance to be seen as an endorsement of his leadership. – said Nathan Chicheportiche Executive Director of EUJS-  Indeed we proudly saw the effect of the campaign “We won’t clap for Orbán” . The audience welcomed him on the lowest standard a Prime Minister could ever receive. He will not be able to use this invitation to mislead the European Parliament on the reality of his policies.

Although the Prime Minister said in his speech that his government declared zero tolerance towards anti-Semitism, we are disappointed that he didn’t talk about the anti-Semitic writers in the national curricula, the Horthy statutes nor the extreme right Jobbik party and the threat it poses.

EUJS is happy to announce that its President Andi Gergely has been elected to be Executive Board Member of the World Jewish Congress for the next four years. We congratulate her for the new position and we command the WJC General Assembly for its decision to involve youth and young adults in its Board.