COMMUNICATION AND NETWORKING
The causes of prejudice and discrimination are ignorance and deeply ingrained social prejudices. All organizations fighting anti-Semitism should place education as the cornerstone of their responsibilities. The most important goal is to win over the young generation and friendly or ambivalent members of society by setting an example of tolerance, openness, and a willingness to educate and share with others the richness of Jewish culture, traditions, and religion.
Besides the lack of information regarding anti-Semitism, a major problem is the lack of contact with important networks and institution within and outside of Hungary; therefore a key task for the Action and Protection Foundation is establishing direct contact with all significant organizations within society.
Being committed advocates of a democratic state founded on the rule of law, we are convinced that unlawful acts should be dealt with by the the rule of law. Nevertheless, at present, investigations or punishment related to anti-Semitic crimes are rare. This is traceable to three interrelated but clearly distinctive reasons.
INSUFFICIENCY OF THE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT
Subsequent to the change of the regime, was have seen a legal system which is ineffective in case of offences against human dignity, attacks of members of particular communities, and cases of incitement against communities. The Civil Code contains no laws against hate speech that do not directly instigate criminal behavior, but are all the same harmful to those intimidated by such acts; although in practice – against the original intention of legislators – courts of law that have an unlimited view of the freedom of speech almost never penalize it.
Regrettably violence against a community is an occurrence rarely recognised by the attorney’s department or law courts. We are convinced that our endeavour should be to make legislative bodies amend both Civil and Penal codes, creating more stringent laws against hate and discrimination.
REPORTING – CO-OPERATION WITH CONSTABULARY BODIES
It is a disheartening experience to find law enforcement and legal entities unsympathetic to obvious crimes against a community. Prejudice possibly – to a lesser extent – exists among members of the constabulary force , and there is also a degree of ignorance and uncertainty arising from it. It is an objective of our foundation to co-operate better with the legal system by organising seminars on the Jewish religion, traditions, and culture, as well as a picture of the everyday life of the community. Through this approach, we will better inform members of law enforcement and the legal system about the dangers faced by all citizens when criminals are able to threaten and intimidate members of peaceful, constructive community.
Persons suffering from discrimination due to their race, heritage, creed, or religion often choose not to inform law enforcement about crimes against them, because they lack knowledge about the options , resources, and expertise they have ready to assist them in their time of need or fear. Assistance and community action offered by the Action and Protection Foundation provides the necessary support for each and every case of abuse and will diligently assist all victims seek redress and justice for crimes committed against them.
Without collecting, filtering, and evaluating the data, it is not possible to provide a real defence for a community. The lack of facts and useful analysis helps prevent both unnecessary panic and cases where perpetrators of anti-Semitic or other hate-crimes benefit from the injustice of light punishment. The Action and Protection Foundation considers the monitoring anti-Semitic acts a duty that requires steady and thorough professionalism. A well educated, expert monitoring team of volunteers performs continuous observation and systematic analysis regarding common parlance, online and printed media, and pronouncements by public figures.
Self-respecting Jewish identity is linked to being part of a community. Belonging to a kehila is not only about religious practice and spirituality. A sense of belonging, the community network, the knowledge that ’I am not alone’, are equal in importance. We have to know about one another in order to help. Action and Protection Foundation plans to operate a 24/7 hotline; our social workers and volunteers are there to assist those in need to the best of our abilities