Calls to bar Hungarian extreme-right Jobbik party from holding political rally in former synagogue

Written by on February 9, 2014 in Europe - No comments

Efforts are underway to prevent Hungarian extreme-right and anti-Semitic party Jobbikto hold next week a political assembly in a building that used to be a synagogue in the city of Esztergom, the European Jewish Press reports.

The entire Jewish community in this city, 46km north of Budapest, was killed during the Holocaust.

The synagogue today is operated by the local government as a cultural centre.

The rally is part of Jobbik’s campaign ahead of Hungarian parliament elections on April 6 2014. The party’s platform is laced with anti-Semitism and anti-Roma policy.

Jobbik is the third largest party in Hungary with 43 of the 386 seats in the Hungarian parliament.

In 2012, a Jobbik MP, Marton Gyongyosi, had urged the Hungarian government to make a list of citizens with Jewish ancestry who might post a security risk to the country.

Last week, the chairman of the the opposition Hungarian Socialist Party in Esztergom, Tamas Gal, sent an open letter to the city’s smayor urging her to bar the rally from the synagogue.

“The choice of location for this event is an unworthy, ugly, and cynical desecration of the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and the sentiments of the survivors,” he wrote.

The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz) is considering sending people to physically prevent Jobbik party from holding its rally in the synagogue.

Earlier this week, the Rabbinical Council of Europe (RCE) announced its plans to hold its General Assembly in Budapest in March in co-operation with the Hungarian government.

The March convention will also feature a memorial ceremony in line with the Hungarian government’s own memorial project to the landmark 70th anniversary of the Holocaust in Hungary where about 800 000 Jews were exterminated by Nazis.

Source: EJP

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