Daily Israel Report

Hungarian MP Burns Israeli Flag

Independent MP briefly detained for questioning after burning flag in Budapest protest.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 12/15/2012, 6:50 PM

Demonstration against anti-Semitism in Hungary
Demonstration against anti-Semitism in Hungary
Reuters

Hungarian police briefly arrested a parliamentarian for torching an Israeli flag during an anti-Jewish protest in the capital, Budapest.

Iran's Press TV reported that the incident took place on Friday in a demonstration near the Foreign Ministry. The demonstrators were protesting what they say are Israeli "atrocities" against Arabs who live in the Land of Israel.

Budapest police said lawmaker Balazs Lenhardt was released after being questioned Friday night.

A Hungarian website, Hungarian Ambiance, said the event was attended by more than one hundred people.

Lenhardt is an independent lawmaker, who was formerly a member of the anti-Jewish Jobbik party.

In a similar incident in October, Jobbik members burned Israeli flags in front of a major synagogue in Budapest, calling on the government to cut diplomatic and economic ties with Israel. Jobbik leader Gabor Vona denounced Hungary’s ties with Israel and said any “agreement between Hungary and Israel should be canceled.”

Jobbik holds 47 parliamentary seats out of 386, and has been against Israeli investment in Hungary. It also considers Israeli business as a threat to the country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on Friday night strongly condemning the 'right-wing' demonstration and the anti-minority speeches. The ministry said that setting a flag on fire "has the potential of inciting hatred against a foreign country."