Daily Israel Report

Hungarian Prime Minister 'Not Doing Enough on Anti-Semitism'?

Arutz Sheva interviews Hungarian politicians from both sides of the political divide on extremists - and what it means for the Jews.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 3/24/2014, 10:06 PM

Arutz Sheva's Yoni Kempinski spoke to Hungarian politicians on Monday, as part of the coverage of the annual presidium of the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE) in Budapest. 

"Although the governing party, Fidesz, and the Prime Minister are not anti-Semites, they are raising radical voices - and supporting radical voices, anti-status-quo voices," Viktor Szigetvári, Co-Chairman of Hungary's Opposition party, told Kempinski. "The Prime Minister in this term is fighting against foreigners, fighting against bankers, fighting even sometimes against the European Union." 

"The problem is [that] the Prime Minister, because of his electoral interest - though he's not an anti-Semite himself - is not separating himself from a radicalism party because he may lose from that electorally," he added. 

"My contribution was to make clear the difference between the ruling party, Fidesz, which is the ruling party right now in Hungary and has the greatest support, and the extreme right party [Jobbik - ed.], which is a completely different kind of organization," noted Dr. Kumin Ferenc, Deputy State Secretary for International Communications. "[Jobbik] has nothing to do with the coalition [...] this distinction is very important to me. 

Politicians from both the Opposition party and the ruling party, Fidesz, strove to talk to Israeli press representatives at the event, which discusses anti-Semitism in Hungary. 

Anti-Semitism in Hungary is a serious issue, and has recently been stoked by the openly anti-Semitic Jobbik party. In November of 2012, one of its members released a statement saying that a list should be compiled of all of the Jewish members of government. He was followed by another Jobbik member who called publicly for the resignation of a fellow MP who claimed to have Israeli citizenship.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has pledged to fight anti-Semitism, which he said was "unacceptable and intolerable," but has been criticized for not doing enough.