Jobbik can hold rally wherever it wants, Hungarian gov’t says

EJC: Jobbik rally in former synagogue ‘trampling on the graves of Holocaust victims.’

February 9, 2014 17:52
2 minute read.
Far-right Jobbik party rally in Budapest, May 4, 2013

Far-right Jobbik party rally370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The Hungarian government defended the right of an alleged neo-Nazi party to hold a political rally in a former synagogue in the city of Esztergom despite an outcry from Jewish groups.

Plans for the rally by the Jobbik faction resulted in condemnation by European Jews on Sunday, with both the European Jewish Congress and the Hungarian Jewish community calling on the government to ban the event.

In response to an inquiry from The Jerusalem Post, Hungary’s International Communications Office stated on Friday that the government “does not comment on party rallies” and that Jobbik has a legitimate right to hold its rally wherever it wants.

“Official parties have the right to hold events at venues where the owners of the venue allow them to. In this case, the community center [which was a synagogue until 1945] in Esztergom is owned by the municipality,” the government spokesman said.

Esztergom Mayor Éva Tétényi did not reply to an email requesting comment.

The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz) told the Post last week that it intends to block Jobbik from holding the rally by physical force, if necessary.

“In case this [gathering] will not be prohibited, the Mazsihisz and Jewish civil organizations will protest and physically hinder the Jobbik rally on the spot,” Mazsihisz president Andras Heisler wrote in an email.

The rally by Jobbik “will be literally and figuratively trampling on the graves of Holocaust victims,” EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor told the Post through a spokesman on Sunday. Jobbik, which the World Jewish Congress considers a neo-Nazi organization, is Hungary’s third-largest party with 43 out of 386 seats in the legislature. Friday’s rally is part of Jobbik’s campaign to improve its standing in the elections scheduled for April.

“The community of Esztergom was wiped out in the Holocaust and this synagogue is not in use today because the Jews there were exterminated,” Kantor told the Post.

“While the Nazis physically destroyed this community, its ideological descendants in Jobbik are destroying it once more with their intended rally.”

Kantor called on the Esztergom municipality, which owns the synagogue building, to cancel the event “on the grounds that by its very nature it will be celebrating the massacre of Jews and destruction of their communities during the Holocaust.”

He also demanded action from the central government to “uphold the memory of the Holocaust.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery