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!
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • 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.