The opposition Socialist Party called on Prime Minister Viktor Orban to “stop the strengthening of hatred and the revival of the cult of anti-Semitism” in an open letter on Friday.
Socialist chairman Attila Mesterhazy said in the letter that the country is in a “serious moral crisis”, which was triggered by the government’s “relativisation of the historic crimes of the (inter-war) Horthy era”.
Mesterhazy also called on Orban to prevent a Budapest assembly initiative to erect a statue to Catholic bishop Ottokar Prohaszka (1858-1927), who is widely seen as an anti-Semitic ideologue.
The Socialist leader repeated his party’s earlier proposal, thwarted in parliament by the Fidesz majority, to set up an ethics committee against anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia, and said that he expected that Orban should join the initiative.
It is a key responsibility for the prime minister, the letter said, to ensure that nobody should be discriminated against or assaulted, whether verbally or physically, because of their origin, sexual orientation or any other reason.
Hungary’s parliament on June 4 adopted a resolution against extreme expressions, racism and xenophobia, that initially took form of a Socialist proposal to set up a permanent committee to pass judgement over racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and xenophobic attitudes in the House.