May 5th, 2013

Anti-Semitism in Hungary at center stage at opening of World Jewish Congress meeting in Budapest (UPDATED)

Hungary’s government considers it its moral obligation to promote “zero tolerance” against anti-Semitism, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said at the general assembly of the World Jewish Congress in Budapest on Sunday.

Orban said today’s Hungarian Christian Democratic government policy assumed a moral obligation to introduce a memorial day for the victims of the Holocaust in Hungarian schools and to create a Holocaust Memorial Centre and to listen to the Kaddish in parliament. It also considered it a duty to organise a memorial year in honour of Raoul Wallenberg, to ban paramilitary organisations and symbols of tyranny and to create the Holocaust Memorial Committee 2014, he said.

Orban said the Hungarian constitution offers real protection, security, human dignity and dignity of the community to the Jews “living with us and to all other minorities”.

He added that anti-Semitism was on the rise everywhere in Europe, including in Hungary, and that failed crisis management from European leaders have caused serious frustration, wearing down hope, increasing disillusionment, anger and hatred. In this situation it is especially important to make it clear that anti-Semitism is unacceptable and intolerable. His words were met with applause.

Anti-Semitism is a state when evil overpowers man and “this danger threatens even us Christians,” he said, adding that “we are aware that there had been bad Christians and bad Hungarians during history who committed serious crimes”.

In light of all this, the Hungarian government’s response to growing anti-Semitism is to “recall and strengthen the traditions of good Christians,” Orban said.

Hungary is a free country and guests do have the right to call attention to anything that troubles them or they see wrong. He thanked the participants of the assembly for calling attention to rising anti-Semitism.

“We need everyone’s help and unity to act against the spread of hatred,” he said.

He asked the representatives of countries where “anti-Semitism took the lives of schoolchildren and … where bomb attacks were mounted on synagogues, to share their experience so that Hungary does not become a country where such things could happen.”

He said Hungary is a country that lived through the inhuman destruction caused by anti-Semitism.

“With a broken heart we bow our heads to the memory of the victims and thank God that despite the Nazi and [Hungarian] Arrow Cross destruction, an authentic Jewish community could survive here,” he added.

He said the current generation was one of freedom-fighters and as there is no freedom without human dignity, the present generation will not tolerate anyone in Hungary being violated in their human dignity for their origins or religion.

Feldmajer: Jews, non-Jews must unite

The Jewish and non-Jewish communities should work together to prevent “the dark ages of anti-Semitism” from returning, the head of a major Hungarian Jewish organisation said at the opening of the World Jewish Congress on Sunday.

The Hungarian government is resolute in protecting the religious rights of Jewish communities and “always supports the secure existence of the state of Israel,” said Peter Feldmajer, President of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (MAZSIHISZ).

Hungary is making every effort to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive, and has gone to great lengths to incorporate the history of the Holocaust into the school curriculum, he said, adding that the Hungarian parliament was one of the first in the world to enact a law for observing a national remembrance day for the victims of the Holocaust,

At the same time, the Hungarian Jewish community is threatened by “vile ideas and acts inherited from the Middle Ages and the time of the Holocaust,” he said.

“This is a country where … an elderly chief rabbi is attacked on the street, where fascists are hailed … where streets and squares are named after ardent anti-Semites and where the works of Hungarian Nazi court poets are made part of the curriculum,” he said.

He argued that the Jewish community could live peacefully with support from the majority of the Hungarian population “if loud hateful voices did not submerge the voice of the reasonable and friendly majority”.

Feldmajer thanked participants for coming to Budapest and for expressing solidarity with the Jews of Hungary. The WJC earlier said it was holding its general assembly in Budapest in order to express solidarity with Hungarian Jews after what they perceived as rising anti-Semitism in the country.

The WJC assembly’s opening dinner was attended by Zoltan Balog, the Minister for Human Resources, Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi and Janos Lazar, the head of the prime minister’s office.

Attila Mesterhazy, leader of the opposition Socialist party, Gordon Bajnai, leader of the electoral alliance E14-PM and leader of the leftist opposition Democratic Coalition Ferenc Gyurcsany also attended.

Lauder: PM must stand firm

Before the dinner, Prime Minister Viktor Orban held a personal meeting with Ronald Lauder, President of the WJC.

Following the dinner Lauder said that Hungarian Jews expect Prime Minister Viktor Orban to take firm steps against anti-Semitism and make it clear to the entire Hungarian population that intolerance will not be tolerated.

Lauder said that he is concerned about one parliamentary party in particular, radical nationalist Jobbik. He said “with its anti-Semitism and anti-Roma hatred Jobbik throws mud on Hungary’s good reputation”.

Lauder thanked Orban for attending the WJC’s assembly an asked him to take firm steps to fight intolerance.

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  1. ytojd88 says:

    Funny how the newspaper is supposedly non partisan yet you failed to include sufficient perspective from the far right.

  2. MagyarViking says:

    “to ban paramilitary organisations”

    Just check out this video from UK Telegraph on “Jobbik’s” public event Saturday May 4th 2013
    They are still here…

    • Bowen says:

      Well, there you go, digging around other sources again. Why can’t you just accept that Orban said the Hungarian Constitution is resolute against racism? Why! Why!

      • Erik D'Amato says:

        Check front page for WJC’s statement.

        • MagyarViking says:

          Yeah, it is a total PR disaster for Whorban:
          ” the Prime Minister did not confront the true nature of the problem: the threat posed by the anti-Semites in general and by the extreme-right Jobbik party in particular. We regret that Mr. Orbán did not address any recent anti-Semitic or racist incidents in the country, nor did he provide sufficient reassurance that a clear line has been drawn between his government and the far-right fringe”

          So now the more racist elements of Fidesz can go back and blame ‘Ze jews’ again, how bad guests they are in Hungary, just come here and demand and not appreciate the fine words of the finest PM ever
          And “Jobbik” will just laugh

          The flies on Whorban’s walls need ear-protection tonight…

      • Democrat says:

        Because the Hungarian constitution is a fluid document. FIDESZ changed the old one 10 times in a couple of months. Then they implemented a new one and have changed that 4 times in 14 months. It hardly inspires confidence. Orban is squirming with his weasly words as he has done on so many other issues.

  3. MagyarViking says:

    “Before the dinner, Prime Minister Viktor Orban held a personal meeting with Ronald Lauder, President of the WJC.

    Following the dinner Lauder said that Hungarian Jews expect Prime Minister Viktor Orban to take firm steps against anti-Semitism and make it clear to the entire Hungarian population that intolerance will not be tolerated”

    It sounds like Whorban did not make total success with these guys…

    • rudududu says:

      –make it clear to the entire Hungarian population..

      to the “entire” ? so Lauder knows that the Jobbos are merely the vocal-noisy ones ..

      • MagyarViking says:

        Of course
        If I, who definitely does not look like a Jew, or even is a Jew, or even had any Jewish relatives, comes into a heated discussion with some Hungarian who does not know me personally, he will inside 5-10 minutes call me a Jew, then I really believe most Hungarians believe that most ‘non-Hungarians’ (read foreigners) are Jews and that they are bad, assholes like myself

        I am though just an asshole, even if not a Jewish one, but I lost count of many times Hungarians thought/accused me for being a Jew the close to 20 years I have been living here

        • christian says:

          ….then I really believe most Hungarians believe that most
          ‘non-Hungarians’ (read foreigners) are Jews and that they are bad,

          • MagyarViking says:


            No, I did not
            Maybe you guys are so clever that you can both discover a Jew, where there are no, and drive 80 on a 30 stretch?

        • Expatjack says:

          Maybe you just sound like a bed-wetting liberal and they were confused.

          • MagyarViking says:

            Yeah, that must be the explanation, then all liberals are Jews and all Jews are liberals…

            Clever, never thought about that

            Calling Benjamin Netanyahu a liberal shows deep knowledge of Israelian politics
            I am truly impressed

  4. Bowen says:

    Well, it’s nice to read the MTI version of events yet again. “Orban said… Orban said… Orban said…’ etc. etc.

  5. christian says:

    its our country we are free to say whatever we want we wont suck your feet anymore your crocodile tears wont help zionists we saw your crimes in Palestine

    • MagyarViking says:

      What has Palestine to do with Hungary?

      In what we are you helping Palestine here in Hungary?

  6. InfantryVeteran says:

    Consider these characters…

    Béla Kun (Kohn) led the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919.

    Mátyás Rákosi (Rosenfeld) led communist Hungary from 1949 to 1956.

    Gerő (Singer) led Hungary from July 18, 1956 to October 25, 1956, and
    requested Soviet intervention to crush the 1956 uprising.

    Gábor Péter (Benjámin Eisenberger) led the Hungarian State Protection Agency from 1945 until 1956.

  7. Vidra says:

    Did Orbán say, at any point, “I personally reject all forms of racism” or “anybody expressing racist views will be expelled from Fidesz” or even “Fidesz doesn’t want or need the racist vote in the next election”? Didn’t think so.

  8. stanlee98 says:

    If there’s no anti-semitism, leave it to the WJC, MAZSIHISZ and the rest to create some.

    • Expatjack says:

      You are absolutely correct. After the kosher tax imposed on virtually all US prepared foodstuffs, anti-semitism is their biggest money-maker.

  9. MagyarViking says:

    Now when the WJC ends in Budapest, Aftonbladet, the biggest Swedish tabloid has an editorial, available on a prominent place on its online edition:

    “Judehatare i Europas mitt
    Ungern håller på att bli en auktoritär stat. Hat mot judar och romer är vardag”

    in English:
    “Jewhaters in the midst of Europe
    Hungary is becoming an authoritarian State. Hate against Jews and Roma is common”

    That was the headline and then you can think the rest…
    Of course the recent migration to Hungary by the dishonoured ex-MP Erik Almqvist is mentioned, together with his positive views on Fidesz policies of nationalism, etc

    This is the picture used:

  10. This may be a little off-topic (not talking about what Jews or Non-Jews and antisemitism or not, etc.) but , maybe it’s just me, but the entire circus regarding this is talking about anything else, but the failing economy and unemployment, lack of education. Those are the ingredients for anti-semitism. Unless you all assume, that people are born out of their mother yelling heil Hitler.

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