Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party organised Saturday’s anti-Jewish rally in Budapest on the eve of the meeting of the World Jewish Congress in the capital.
Currently Hungary’s third biggest party with more than 10 percent of the seats in parliament Jobbik is openly anti-Jewish, and accuses Israeli businessmen of buying up property in the country wholescale. Leader Gabor Vona claims Hungary is being “subjugated to Zionism”.
“We are special here in Europe, but not because we are the most anti-Semitic nation, but because that even if all of Europe is at their feet, even if all of Europe licks their feet, even then we will not,” said Vona.
About 1000 Jobbik supporters attended the rally, guarded by their banned, but tolerated, uniformed security wing.
Hungary has seen far-right sentiments rise in recent years, and Jobbik has become ever-more strident and open in its opinions.
“The strengthening of Jobbik is only a symptom in these matters. The bigger problem is that around half a million people support the far-right and many people accept the negative attitude towards Jews,” said the Chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities Peter Feldmajer.
In April the annual March for Freedom by the Danube, into which the Nazis threw many of the some 600,000 Hungarian Jews to perish in World War Two, attracted a record turnout from people angry at the rise in anti-Semitism.
That rise is one reason the World Jewish Congress came to Budapest this year. It opens on Sunday under high security, which has also been stiffened around the city’s synagogue.