Viktor Orbán and his responsibility for rising antisemitism in Hungary

By Sonia Gable

Quite a political storm is brewing in Hungary, after Ronald S. Lauder of the World Jewish Congress named Hungary Europe’s most antisemitic country, the Hungarian Free Press reported on 19 July 2016. 

Specifically, Mr. Lauder said the following: “The worst offender is Hungary. Because they now have a neo-Nazi party called Jobbik. They had started to put up statues of Admiral Horthy, who was a Nazi.” András Heisler, President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary (MAZSIHISZ), came to the Orbán government’s defence in a statement. He wrote to Mr. Lauder, suggesting that he may have been the victim of “journalistic manipulation or incorrect information from advisers,” as there is “constructive cooperation between the Hungarian government and Jewish organizations.” But many take issue with this. Eszter Garai-Édler, a civil rights activist, wrote to me this morning emphasizing that the Orbán regime is the only government in the EU, which has overtly and wholeheartedly embraced undiluted racism. Ms. Garai-Édler is sharing with our readers the full text of a talk she gave a few years ago at the 4th International Conference of the Global Forum for  Combating Anti-Semitism, in Jerusalem, on Mr. Orbán’s role in rising antisemitism. Since then, Mr. Orbán’s rhetoric towards Arabs and Muslims has changed markedly, but his government’s cynical and self-serving use of xenophobia to scapegoat specific communities has not.

Viktor Orbán and his old friend, the leading antisemitic journalist Zsolt Bayer, having fun
Viktor Orbán and his old friend, the leading antisemitic journalist Zsolt Bayer, having fun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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