BRUSSELS — Hungarian Jews “feel increasing danger” in a country with a government that condones antisemitism, the president of Hungary’s Jewish community said.
Peter Feldmajer, president of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities, made the remarks last week at a conference on antisemitism in the European Parliament in Brussels.
Though Hungarian government officials say they want to combat antisemitism, “behind the curtain we face a dark image,” said Feldmajer, who described the government’s policy as “two-faced.”
The extreme-right Jobbik party constantly libels Jews, while the state celebrates antisemites in school curriculums, he said. And he noted that several Hungarian municipalities have erected statues honouring Miklos Horthy, the Hungarian Quisling. Under his rule, 450,000 Hungarian Jews were sent to their death in the Holocaust.
“Streets and squares are named after Horthy, who stands as a hero for the people. The Hungarian Jewish people feel increasing danger,” Feldmajer said.
Panayote Dimitras of the Greek Helsinki Monitor, a watchdog on hate crimes, has quoted surveys showing that 80 per cent of the Greek and Hungarian populations favoured deporting foreigners.
“It’s no coincidence these are the only countries with neo-Nazi parties in parliament,” Dimitras said.
The conference in the Belgian capital was organized by B’nai Brith Europe and CEJI-a Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe, along with the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism. Some 40 people attended, including several lawmakers.