Hungarian MP detained for burning Israeli flag

Balazs Lenhardt participated in an anti-Semitic event where demonstrators shouted "Filthy Jews," "to Auschwitz with you all."

December 15, 2012 13:06
1 minute read.
Hungarians protest [archieve]

Hungarians protest 370. (photo credit: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters)


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Independent parliamentarian Balazs Lenhardt was detained by Budapest police on Friday evening for burning an Israeli flag at an anti-Zionist demonstration in the Hungarian capital, Hungarian daily Politics reported.

A hundred demonstrators participated in the event organized by the Guardians of Carpathian Homeland Movement and the Guard Federation held in front of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, according to Politics.

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Demonstrators shouted anti-Semitic slogans like "Filthy Jews" and "To Auschwitz With You All."

The Hungarian Foreign Ministry condemned “the shameful, instigatory speeches insulting a minority,” as well as the burning of the Israel flag that the ministry considered "an act suited for instigating hatred against a country, against a nation," Politics reported.

Lenhardt is a former member of the radical nationalist Jobbik party.

This isn't the first Israeli flag burning incident in Hungary. In October, members of the Jobbik party reportedly burned an Israeli flag in front of a a Budapest synagogue.

Last month, Jobbik MP Marton Gyongyosi caused an outrage after suggesting the government drew up a list of Jews in Hungary who posed a "national security threat."


His comments were later condemned by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who promised to protest Hungary's Jewish population.

"I rejected this call on behalf of the government and I would like you to know that as long as I am standing in this place, no one in Hungary can be hurt or discriminated against because of their faith, conviction or ancestry," Orban said.

Gyongyosi late apologized for his comments, saying he only referred to Hungarians with dual Israeli citizenship.

The Jobbik party, the third-largest party in the Hungarian parliament, is fiercely critical of Israel and its members have a history of inflammatory and controversial comments on issues pertaining to the Holocaust and the Jewish state, as well as against his country’s Roma population and homosexuals.

In August, Hungarian soccer fans shouted anti-Semitic slurs and jeered when the Israeli national anthem was played during a match between Israel and Hungary in Budapest.

Reuters, Jeremy Sharon and Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

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