How to Counter Antisemitism?

How to Counter Antisemitism? (Still image from the educational video)
Zrínyi Miklós (Schey Fülöp) street near Várkör. Jews are marched from the ghetto at Fülöp street to the railway station on 18th June, 1944. After their transport to the ghetto in Szombathely, they were deported to Auschwitz on 4th July 1944. © Fortepan / Fortepan // Free Market Foundation

Fake news, disinformation, conspiracy theories, antisemitism. Today, when reaching a large audience is easier than ever, the free access to information comes with a price. Political extremities, populists, fanatics, and malicious actors can polarize people to their own gains using the above mentioned methods. We must fight these.

The media has a role in recognizing, filtering, and countering these phenomena. The Hungarian Free Market Foundation, with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom created a project to help the media and individuals in recognizing, understanding and countering antisemitism.

The project has three main components, each aimed at explaining the forms of antisemitism, and the actions that can be taken against it.

At first, a guide has been developed in partnership with CEJI - A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe, primarily for the media, but written in a way that is useful for anyone. The guide, titled Antisemitism: A Guide on Recognizing, Understanding, and Countering Antisemitism explains the far right’s and the far lefts relationship with antisemitism, shows what populist antisemitism is, debunks myths, provides a history of antisemitism, defines terms, and presents how disinformation and conspiracy theories can be connected to antisemitism. At the end of the guide a section lists the hands-on actions you can take to counter antisemitism.

Unfortunately, such a document is not enough to tackle this large and complex problem.

To make understanding it more engaging, we developed an interactive and visually stimulating online exhibition. This transports visitors to a fictional country, and follows your struggles from the moment you land there. The story showcases the terrors of a racist and totalitarian regime. The exhibition is segmented into chapters, each of which has an interconnected storyline with videos to make it more immersive, as well as a section from the guide, where background information is provided. Each chapter has a quiz at the end to gamify active learning.

A pressing question of every project is how to reach people who are not interested in the given topic. To solve this, Free Market Foundation has started a language course “At Peace With English” for people who want to improve their English. Intermediate level exercises teach the passive voice, basic tenses, and the conditional, among others. The course uses videos to explain the grammar and to show how it is used in practice. The way it ties into the topic of antisemitism, is that the videos present stories of people helping Jews during WWII, explain disinformation, or ways to counter antisemitism.

Free Market Foundation is committed to countering antisemitism. Check the links above to learn more on how you can take action to do the same!

Máté Hajba is the director of the Free Market Foundation, which advocates economic freedom, civil rights and tolerance. He is also the Vice President of Civic Platform, which runs anti-racist campaigns and promotes democratic values. He is interested in the relationship between the state and the individual and in the concept and history of liberty. He writes for international press on issues such as intolerance in Hungary and international relations. To promote the concept of individualism, liberty, tolerance and free market, he co-founded a youth organization named Eötvös Club.