Lauder slams Jobbik at March of Living in Budapest

World Jewish Congress president strongly denounced anti-Semitism and criticized Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party in his keynote address.

jobbik hungary (photo credit: LASZIO BALOGH/REUTERS)
jobbik hungary
World Jewish Congress president Ronald S. Lauder strongly denounced anti-Semitism and criticized Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party in his keynote address in front of thousands Sunday at this year’s March of the Living in Budapest, in commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust.
“The March of the Living reminds us what happens when the world is silent,” said Lauder. “We will never be silent again. And when it comes to anti-Semitism, the Hungarian government must never be silent.
“Today, when the world looks at Hungary, it does not see its great culture. It does not see its beautiful cities. It does not remember its great and glorious past,” continued Lauder, adding: “Today, the world sees Hungary and they see Jobbik. They see an extremist party that promotes hate.”
The WJC president, who will be speaking at the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York on June 7, also condemned acts of anti-Semitism.
  “There are statues of shoes along the Danube.
They are there as a memorial to the Jewish people who were murdered there. No one has the right to spit in those shoes. No one. In this great city we send one clear message to the entire world: The Hungarian Jewish community is alive and well.
“And the Hungarian Jewish community is not going anywhere.
We march today to say: We are here. We are alive.
And here we will remain.”
About 560,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, most of them in 1944. Today, Hungary’s Jewish community numbers around 100,000 and it is still the largest in Central Europe.
Lauder highlighted the contribution of Hungarian Jews to their country.
“Jews helped make this country great. When Jews are part of a society, any society, countries prosper. Jews win Nobel prizes. Jews create jobs and they cure diseases. Jews build – they don’t tear down! Anti-Semites tear down. They destroy, they create nothing, they save no one. And when Jews are forced to leave, they take their success with them,” he told the crowd in central Budapest.
The March of the Living in Hungary is organized every year by the March of the Living Foundation, with the support of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary.