February 27th, 2009

World Jewish Congress wades into controversy over local official’s remarks

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) protested against a Hungarian local government official’s anti-Semitic remark, and urged powerful political action against such acts, in a letter released to MTI on Thursday.

“Such an anti-Jewish bibe must not go unanswered,” WJC President Ronald S. Lauder wrote.

Lauder’s letter was written after Attila Kiss, a local government official in Hungary’ northwestern Rajka town had called up fellow councillors to take up “sickles and hacks” and cleanse the “synagogue in Kossuth Street”.

Kiss, who is a member of the radical nationalist paramilitary Hungarian Guard, told MTI after the incident came to light that he had meant to say (Budapest’s) Kossuth Square, alluding to the Parliament building, rather than a local synagogue.

Last week the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary (Mazsihisz), an affiliate of WJC, lodged an official complaint against Kiss.

“Such statements must be dealt with by strong political action,” Lauder wrote.

The president also welcomed plans recently outlined by Hungary’s Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany to introduce legislation punishing hate speech and the incitement to hatred.

“This is good news, and we hope such legislation will be adopted unanimously by the Hungarian Parliament very soon,” Lauder said in his letter.

Lauder praised the government for taking action against the Hungarian Guard. “It was encouraging to learn that a court recently banned the guard,” he said and offered WJC’s support in the fight against anti-Semitism and extremism. However, he added that “ultimately, this problem needs to be dealt with by the Hungarians themselves.”

Visit www.hungarymatters.hu to receive Hungarian news agency MTI’s twice-daily newsletter.
Topics
Share
Please note that due to a large volume of trolling and false abuse flags, we are currently only accepting comments from logged-in users.
  • Stan

    And this is exactly how you generate anti-semitism.
    People are getting sick of being pushed around by Jewish pressure groups.
    How did we get this low, ban Hungarian groups to please Jewish ones? If we cannot have Hungarian Guard, let’s ban MAZSIHISZ too. Why not? Is it ok to be anti-Hungarian in Hungary? When did that happen?

  • Apostol

    Hate to resort to name calling, but here goes: Stan, you’re an idiot. No one’s getting ‘pushed around’. Kiss opened his big, fat mouth and said a stupid thing – Lauder’s just calling him on it.

  • Stan

    Apostol,
    Kiss is Hungarian, he can say anything he wants in Hungary. Lauder is a lowlife troublemaker.
    His efforts to “rebuild Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe” are just plain offensive.
    The last thing we need to “rebuild” here is noisy, hyper-sensitive, anti-Hungarian minorities.
    Lauder should apologize to Kiss, and then mind his own stupid business, outside Hungary.

  • Apostol

    Any other ‘noisy, hypersensitive minorities’ you want to mention while we’re at it? Roma, gays, guys named Stan? 🙂
    We all have to figure out how to live together, dude, and you don’t get to do that by telling other people to shut up or get out.
    peace.

  • zsuzsi

    Is it not possible to be both Jewish and Hungarian? Does one’s religion diminish some inherent hungarianism?

  • Mariska

    Stan, you sicken me. Literally. And you are clearly breathtakingly ignorant of Hungarian history. You wanna know what Hungary would look like today if not for the contributions of Hungarian Jews past and present? No, you don’t.

  • Stan

    What happened? MAZSIHISZ is running out of taxpayer money? All they can hire now is dummies like you children to post the same tired old cliches?
    “what would Hungary be without Jews?”
    Happy.

  • Joe

    You would only be happy if the world was full of Stans. How sad!

  • Gandi

    zsuzsi, real Hungarians have Hungarian blood and a cultural Hungarian background. Real Hungarians are Catholic, Protestant or Evangilical. Athiests, communists and outsiders don’t count. They are only “Hungarian” on paper i.e. Hungarian national. Pretty much like a white man can never really be Chinese or a Hispanic can never really be a true Asian.

  • Joe

    You are full of shit, Gandi.

  • tangerine

    One hundred thousand educated, Hungarians, living and working abroad. And they prefer to risk losing their jobs in foreign countries rather than return to Hungary. A sad state of affairs.
    Hungarians have a sense of identity. They are a proud people. After what Hungary has been through these past sixty years it deserves some respite.
    Does it get it? No!! Corruption, maladministration, and government officials hopelessly out of touch- with a gormless prime minister leading us up the garden path into economic oblivion. And now, endless accusations of anti-Roma and anti Semitism abound.
    At least Stan offers alternative views to the boring ‘cliched’ one-liners heard in universities
    everywhere. Also on the menu is brown rice, Marmite sandwiches,and ipods…check it out?

  • Stan

    Gandi thinks: “real Hungarians have Hungarian blood and a cultural Hungarian background. Real Hungarians are Catholic, Protestant or Evangilical.”
    I must disagree with that. There’s no such thing as “Hungarian blood”, we are a mixed lot. Real Hungarians can have any ethnic background as long as they feel and act like they belong here.
    Religions have nothing to do with that either, I find all religions equally dumb, I’m an equal opportunity atheist myself, and it doesn’t make me any less of a patriot.

  • Gandi

    Stan, look at our history and you will see what importance Christianity has played. Look at our coat of arms and you see the truth i.e Byazntine/Lorraine Cross. Unfortunately, athiestical communism has done severe damage in Hungary by trying to remove Christianity from our people and country for the last 60 years. The current generation of Hungarians does not know their religious sense of identity as previous ones do i.e. before WW2. Hajra Magyarork, Isten Velunk
    Joe, you are full of shit too, but you have to love freedom of speech!

  • Stan

    Gandi,
    I had to attend services in the local Catholic church in my early years. Then one day I realized that it’s a silly waste of time, I don’t believe any of the mythology and the rituals are just pure boredom.
    If people need the church, that’s fine, I just don’t want any state religions after the political right takes over. Let’s make common sense and common decency our state “religion”. See if it works.

  • Doktor Ki (v.12)

    Why is politics in Hungary so full of petty hatreds and nasty, barbed insults? Why can’t our various representatives behave in a relatively civilised manner (like most people do in their day to day, face to face lives)? Why does everything come down to blaming someone else for your own misfortune? Why does no one stand up and shout “This is the behaviour of spoilt and horrible children! Grow the f**k up!”?
    With two racially motivated ‘reprisal’ attacks against families (including children FFS) in less than two weeks I am worried that the level of political discourse in Hungary has infected the brains of the people.
    I mourn for the family of the 4yr old killed last week in a hideous attack on a family. I mourn for Hungary and Hungarians, for Hungarian culture (if this is where it is now, full of hatred and rage about the past, only wanting vengeance and bloody retribution against preceived – real or unreal – threats).

  • Stan

    “two racially motivated ‘reprisal’ attacks against families”
    What the hell are you talking about?

  • Doktor Ki (v.12)

    Tatárszentgyörgy and Kiskundorozsma.
    I used reprisal because it seems to me that there has been an increase in vigilante attacks against gypsies in the wake of the Veszprem killing.
    Shooting a 4 year old kid with a shotgun at close range while the family is fleeing a burning building is just evil, pure and simple.

  • Stan

    Do you actually know who did those crimes? Why don’t you tell the police then?
    Every time gypsies attacked, the phony gypsy “leaders” climb out under the rock and try to make a “hate crime” of it before anyone has an idea who actually did it. These “leaders” do more to create racial hatred than the Garda or Jobbik or anyone.
    Why is it an issue if the victim is gypsy and why is it a secret when the suspect is? Why is a “hate crime” more serious than “regular” crime? Why do we drag race into the picture only when it serves the interest of gypsies? Why?

  • tangerine

    Dr Ki. Hate killings cannot be justified at any level. Roma, Jew,or the young sportsman recently stabbed to death in a Veszprém nightclub.
    I disagree that the political comments found on these pages,and elsewhere, are petty and misinformed.
    One grieves for any family that loses their loved ones at the expense of thugs.
    Yes, comment on these brutal murders. But let us also have sound political debate on how the reforms: political, social, and economic, can be brought about to make Hungary a better place to live.
    I am not convinced that the current government and its leader are fit to run this country and I have made my points of view clear, in other articles, posted on these pages.
    And, because I do not support Gyurscany, this does not mean I am a fan of Orban, either. Both are antiquated monoliths and need to drag themselves into the 21st century along with all the other so-called experts recently drafted in to
    help unravel the mess this country is in.
    Personal remarks against commentators are futile.
    Make your own deposition and support it with sound, logical argument!

  • wolfpack

    Humanism teaches us that it is immoral to wait for God to act for us. We must act to stop the wars and the crimes and the brutality of this and future ages. We have powers of a remarkable kind. We have a high degree of freedom in choosing what we will do. Humanism tells us that whatever our philosophy of the universe may be, ultimately the responsibility for the kind of world in which we live rests with us.

  • Rofa

    About hate speech. I can see no problem in that. Anger, hate and aggression are all positive intensities. Would there be any social change without these intensities? I doubt it.
    Therefore the real problem is that these intensities have been vilified- made social persona non grata.
    The WJC tries again and again to install “the bad consciousness” in people. The consciousness they want to install is: “We the jews are the eternal victims – and therefore it is just and correct that we massacre 1300 Palestinians, as an retaliation for that a rocket fell on a jews lawn”. Its ok that they (jews) make use of agression and hate, but us “mere mortal men” are not allowed to indulge in these intensities.
    Reality check, please!!
    And maybe the hate speech may be closer to the truth of things (this text might by some be categorized as hate speech, but I do not react to “bad consciousness), than the speech censored by the “bad consciousness”!

  • gainsay

    Dr Ki. Here are facts reported in the news.
    A foreign national was stabbed to death in a Veszprém nightclub. Two others were seriously injured. A Serb and a Croat. Three men of Roma origin were arrested for the crimes based on eye- witness testimonies and video footage. ( Not because Stan said so)!
    Please let me know, DR Ki, where you got the evidence to support your claims that the recent violence on gypsy families was a reprisal for the above mentioned. Hearsay is not good enough! Are you to be judge and jury in a kangaroo court?
    Hungarians (are you one?)have to grin and bear everything that is thrown at them. No other people on earth would suffer uncomplainingly as Hungarians now do.
    You are a victim of your own self-indulgence. And, in my opinion, you “moan” rather “mourn”
    the perceived injustices in your “reportage”.
    Deal in fact, rather than fantasy, and perhaps then, your manic-depressive views may be taken a little more seriously.

  • Doktor Ki (v.12)

    Comment re: political discourse in Hungary not aimed at commentators on this site, who aren’t politicians as far as I know. I said “our political representatives”, therefore I mean our politicians and other civil servants. I don’t insult people on this site, and never have. I have also been increasingly downheartened by the silly and vindictive games that some of the posters on this site and pestiside.hu have been playing recently. I would like the debates/arguments to continue on this site. I do not wish them to stop. I don’t understand how gainsay and tangerine have misinterpreted what I wrote, but I feel that you have. My comment about growing up was aimed at our wonderful (yes that is cynicism) elected representatives. Sorry if I wasn’t completely clear, but I think that what I wrote about political discourse was clear enough.
    As for the facts regarding these two recent cases of attacks on families let’s just see how the cases progress. The first attack (the one where a child was killed) Maybe it is just gangland style shootings amongst criminals. Maybe they were racially motivated. My moneys on the latter option, but that is just my opinion.
    I, like most people, was horrified when I heard about the Veszprem attack. Yes the criminals were gypsies, but why was their ethnicity/skin colour a factor in reporting the case. They were criminal gangsters. Case closed. Why was it always ‘gypsy criminals’ and ‘Roma gangsters’. Isn’t criminal and gangster enough…(cont.d)

  • Doktor Ki (v.12)

    …of a description without mentioning the feared ‘csiganyok’. Didn’t the powers that be realise that after such a horrendous killing that some thugs would use this as another excuse to perform ‘people’s justice’? But, as some have pointed out, we don’t know all the facts yet. I just found it incredibly saddening that someone actually killed a 4 year old kid in cold blood. That really is the sum of human evil.
    The establishment (media, politicians, police, judiciary) feed these prejudices amongst the population. Divide and conquer as the Romans used to say. What we, the citizens of Hungary, should be doing is fighting the power, not each other. All of our elected representatives have let us down, lied and stolen from us. Now we sit around being hateful and bilious to each other, rather than organising against them. What has hate, fear and ignorance ever acheived that benefitted humanity? Nothing.
    @Stan. I agree with you. Why does race have to be brought into it? Unfortunately it always seems to get to that (on both sides of every debate). I wish it wasn’t so.
    @gainsay. You seem to have a rather rose tinted view of our fellow countrymen and women. Hungarians suffer in silence? So what are all those protests, marches, riots and demonstrations all about? What is this site about? Maybe not suffering in silence. One can moan and mourn at the same time. What have Hungarians been doing ever since 1920? Moaning and mourning over loss. So let me have a moan/mourn too, TY.

  • gainsay

    Dr Ki.You are self-opinionated and write your own script. It is ok to disagree, misinterpret, on these pages about related articles. But on civil unrest, murder, ethnic violence, you better make sure of the facts before sounding off – for this is what you do!
    There are protests, I know, about bad government, and corruption etc. The majority of us do suffer in “silence”,believee me!
    It is your attitude rather than your views where the fault lies.
    We all will, pull together, for a better Hungary. But please,check your facts. And also what the other commentators are actually saying:rather than jumping to hasty misconceived conclusions.
    And let the police and other authorities find out about the violence and murders. We don’t wish to know where you are placing your “money” on who might be responsible for these atrocities in the future.
    I know you mean well, but your are doing more harm than good, with your misguided and misplaced remarks.

All content © 2004-2015 The All Hungary Media Group. Articles, comments and other information on the All Hungary Media Group's network of sites are provided "as is" without guarantees, warranties, or representations of any kind, and the opinions and views expressed in such articles and columns are not necessarily those of the All Hungary Media Group.