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Summary of Conference on Antisemitic Conspiracy Theories in Budapest


A conference was held in Budapest, Hungary in December 2010 on Antisemitism and Antisemitic conspiracy theories organized jointly by the Political Capital Institute and Central European University (pictured). The premise of the conference was that the 2008 global financial crisis breathed new life into antisemitic conspiracy theories and the conference was devoted in part to a discussion of Holocaust denial.

The conference brought together the leading Hungarian experts on the topic. Panelists used different approaches to explain the "timelessness" of antisemitic prejudice and conspiracy theories, as well as the current increase of these tendencies.

As the conference organizers explain, economic hardship has driven people to seek out a familiar scapegoat: It has given new teeth to classic political antisemitism, which builds upon old stereotypes, and has sharpened antisemitic speech, both coded and open. The theory that Jews are profiting from the economic crisis has gained widespread acceptance in Europe. Such ideas are even gaining traction in countries that have negligible Jewish populations, such as Italy and Spain. Research suggests that anti-Jewish sentiment has been strengthening in Hungary over the past few years.

For the conference summary click here.