Budapest — The World Jewish Congress urged Hungary on Tuesday to crack down on the far-right Jobbik party and called on governments in Europe to consider banning neo-Nazi parties threatening democracy and minority rights.
The WJC plenary assembly, held in the Hungarian capital rather than Jerusalem to highlight rising anti-Semitism in Hungary, passed a resolution saying Budapest must recognise that Jobbik poses “a fundamental threat to Hungary’s democracy.
“Decisive action by all democratic forces against these contemporary expressions of extremism must now be taken,” it said, adding a request that Prime Minister Viktor Orban sign an international declaration on combating anti-Semitism.
Jobbik, which openly vilifies Hungary’s Roma minority and has accused Jews of buying up property to take over Hungary, has been a central issue at the three-day WJC assembly, which brought together Jewish leaders from about 100 countries.
Orban addressed the opening session of the assembly on Sunday evening, issuing a strong denunciation of anti-Semitism but avoiding any mention of Jobbik.
“He missed a golden opportunity,” said WJC President Ronald Lauder, who while introducing Orban had specifically asked him to denounce the populist party.
Jobbik, which won 17 percent of the vote in the 2010 election and has 43 of the 368 seats in parliament, held an “anti-Zionist and anti-Bolshevik” rally in Budapest to protest against the WJC meeting being held in the Hungarian capital.
Orban’s Fidesz party has a two-thirds majority in parliament, but has lost ground in opinion polls since it took power in 2010. It still has a strong opinion poll lead over opposition parties however and has a good chance of winning year’s election.