Hungary Premier Viktor Orban Fails To Take on Far Right in Speech

Disappoints WJC With Silence on Anti-Semitic Jobbik Party

Disappointing: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban denounced anti-Semitism, but failed to mention far right Jobbik Party in opening address at World Jewish Congress plenary.
getty images
Disappointing: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban denounced anti-Semitism, but failed to mention far right Jobbik Party in opening address at World Jewish Congress plenary.

By Reuters

Published May 05, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Prime Minister Viktor Orban strongly denounced growing anti-Semitism in Hungary on Sunday but stopped short of censuring the far-right Jobbik party his audience of world Jewish leaders most wanted him to scold.

Orban told the World Jewish Congress (WJC), which is holding its four-yearly assembly in Hungary to highlight its concern about rising hostility to Jews here and elsewhere in Europe, that anti-Semitism was “unacceptable and intolerable”.

He recounted the steps his conservative government has taken to outlaw hate crimes and preserve the memory of the Holocaust, during which about half a million Hungarian Jews died.

But he did not respond to a call from WJC President Ronald Lauder, who in his opening remarks singled out Jobbik and told Orban “Hungarian Jews need you to take on these dark forces”.

Lauder said, “we see the outrage of anti-Semitism. This is by no means only in Hungary, but also in other places in Europe – in Greece, in Ukraine and elsewhere.”

After Orban’s speech, a WJC statement said: “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. Orban 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.”

ALSO AGAINST ROMA, EUROPEAN UNION

Jobbik, which also vilifies Hungary’s Roma minority and opposes the European Union and what it sees as other foreign influences, has 43 of the 386 seats in parliament, where Orban’s Fidesz party has more than two-thirds of the seats.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.