Hungarian Anti-Semitic Party Wins Seats

Published: April 12th 2010
in News » World

Pic: wikimedia commons

Hungary’s center-right and far-right parties won a decisive victory in elections on Sunday, reducing the incumbent Socialist party to less than 20 per cent.


The right wing Fidesz party won a majority of votes with 52.77 per cent, while the far-right ultra-nationalist and openly anti-Semitic Jobbik party received a startling 16.71 per cent.


Election results have sent a shockwave through the European Jewish community. Jewish groups there have charged Jobbik with anti-Semitism and spouting racist hatred. A prominent Hungarian Jewish group was quoted by Arutz Sheva as saying that the election was the first time “a movement pursuing openly anti-Semitic policies” has become a political force in Hungary since the days of the Nazis.


On Sunday, Hungarian Jews staged a protest in opposition to rampant anti-Semitism in the run-up to the weekend vote. Anti-Semitic incidents experienced by the community in recent weeks included vandalism, a march by neo-Nazis, and rocks thrown at a rabbi’s house during Passover.


A Jobbik parliamentary candidate, Judit Szima,approved an article for publication in 2009 that called anti-Semitism “the duty of every Hungarian homeland lover.” The article asked Hungarians to “prepare for armed battle against the Jews.”


Jobbik candidate Krisztina Morvai said that “I would be glad if the so-called proud Hungarian Jews would go back to playing with their tiny little circumcised tail rather than vilifying me.”


As well, Jobbik’s magazine published a photo of a statue of a bishop. The bishop was holding a menorah instead of a cross under a headline that said, “Is this what you want?”


The party has attempted to distance itself from Morvai’s anti-Semitism and claims that it is not an anti-Semitic party. It also refutes charges that it is openly anti-Roma.


However, it claims that Israeli companies “dominate the Budapest property market” and says it aims to decrease their hold on the Hungarian economy.


The leader of Jobbik, Gabor Vona, is one of the founders of the neo-fascist Hungarian Guard (Magyar Garda), a civilian paramilitary that dresses in black uniform reminiscent of Nazi-era civilian organizations. It has been banned by the government, but it has not broken up. Vona has stated that he will wear a Magyar Garda uniform during his parliamentary swearing in ceremony.


While denying that it is anti-Jewish, the party does not shy away from admitting to being pro-Arab.


The Jobbik website states, “The Movement for a Better Hungary has always been primarily sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. As Hungarian nationalists, we can sympathize more readily with a people who have had their land taken away from them, in order to form a new country.”


The right’s victory in Hungary comes on the heels of economic distress, increasing poverty and high unemployment. The country is the first EU national to have had to ask the International Monetary Fund for a bailout.

Related articles: (far right, neo-Nazi, anti-semitic, anti-semitism, hungary, fascist, roma, european jewish groups)

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