Hungary: Anti-Semites Given Prison Sentences

Budapest court hands down prison sentences to three men who verbally abused visitors to the World Jewish Congress.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Anti-Semitism (illustration)
Anti-Semitism (illustration)
Israel news photo: archive

A Budapest court has handed down prison sentences of two and three years to three men who verbally abused visitors to the World Jewish Congress (WJC) that was held in the city this week, state newswire MTI reported Friday.

The agency said the visitors were victims of an anti-Semitic attack during their stay in the Hungarian capital for the WJC, held from May 5 to 7. The three men were convicted after a fast-track trial.

"The main culprit received a three-year prison sentence, while two more received two-year sentences, both suspended for three years," said MTI.

The incident happened close to the city's Great Synagogue, the agency said.

AFP reported that the three assailants shouted Nazi slogans and anti-Semitic insults at the WJC group, and made Nazi salutes, before plain-clothed police intervened.

The main culprit -- who was on probation for a previous drug offence – is appealing his sentence, the report said.

The WJC decided to hold its conference in Budapest in a show of solidarity with the local Jewish community which has suffered increasing anti-Semitism in recent years.

Anti-Semitism in Hungary has been on the rise over the past several years. Recent incidents include Hungary's chief rabbi being verbally abused on a Budapest street, anti-Semitic chants at a football match against Israel and pig's trotters being placed on a statue of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Budapest Jews in World War II.

In late November, a far-right deputy from the openly anti-Semitic Jobbik party called publicly for the resignation of a fellow MP who claimed to have Israeli citizenship.

The comments came after another Jobbik parliamentarian released a statement saying that a list should be compiled of all of the Jewish members of government.

WJC President Ronald Laude warned in a speech at the conference on Sunday that continued anti-Semitism is causing Hungarian Jews to consider leaving the country.

During the conference, the WJC adopted a resolution calling on governments in Europe to “consider banning neo-Nazi parties or organizations whose aim is to overthrow the democratic order, or which pose a threat to the safety and well-being of ethnic, religious or other minorities.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)