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Hungary Condemns Burning of Israeli Flags Outside Synagogue

Hungary's Foreign Ministry condemned the "desecration of an Israeli flag" outside of Budapest’s main synagogue by Jobbik party supporters.
By Rachel Hrishfeld
First Publish: 10/25/2012, 6:18 PM

Supporters of the Hungarian far right Jobbik party
Supporters of the Hungarian far right Jobbik party
Reuters

Hungary's Foreign Ministry condemned the "desecration of an Israeli flag" outside of Budapest’s main synagogue Tuesday and other anti-Semitic attacks by supporters of the far-right Jobbik party, BosNewsLife reported.

The incident reportedly took place during a perceived anti-Semitic rally at the Dohany Street Synagogue, Europe's largest synagogue, on the day that Hungary commemorated the 56th anniversary of the 1956 Revolution against Soviet domination and communist rule.

Several Jewish people were also attacked by far right extremists, the Ministry said in a statement to BosNewsLife, without elaborating.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary declares – in response to the verbal and physical insult committed by extremists with anti-Semitic intentions in Budapest on October 23 – that it is unacceptable to disparage and insult our fellow citizens of Jewish identity," the statement read.

"It is equally unacceptable to defile the national flag of the State of Israel," the Ministry added.

The statement came only after Israel's ambassador to Hungary, Ilan Mor, urged Hungary on Tuesday to condemn the anti-Semitic incidents.

"Hungarian democratic forces should refuse this unacceptable anti-Israeli act and criticism," he told Hungary's opposition-leaning ATV television network.

Jobbik leader Gábor Vona as part of the Revolution's commemoration reportedly criticized any cooperation between Hungary and Israel, saying the "agreement between Hungary and Israel should be canceled."

While not mentioning Jobbik by name, Hungary's Foreign Ministry said the government distanced itself from the anti-Israeli sentiment that has become prevalent among a number of factions in society.

Anti-Semitic attacks have spread with the recent verbal assault of a 90-year-old respected rabbi, Jozsef Schweitzer, when a stranger confronted him on the street yelling, "I hate all Jews!"

There has also been growing concern regarding the vandalism of Holocaust memorials and Jewish graveyards.