Israel on Friday summoned the newly appointed Hungarian ambassador to Israel, Andor Nagy, over the rise of anti-Semitism in the country.
The Foreign Ministry’s director-general for Europe, Rafi Schutz, expressed “deep concern” to Nagy over recent anti-Semitic statements by government officials, as well as a growing marginalization of Hungary’s role in the Holocaust.
Meanwhile Friday, Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party held an electoral rally in a former synagogue in the northern city of Esztergom.
About 120 protesters, many wearing yellow stars on their coats, wanted to form a human chain around the building to prevent Jobbik’s entry but were kept at bay by dozens of police.
Jewish groups said the presence of Jobbik, Hungary’s second-largest opposition party, insulted the memory of some 500 Jews deported from Esztergom during the Holocaust. Some members of Jobbik have made anti-Semitic statements,
Jobbik president Gabor Vona told around 250 supporters he had “nothing to be ashamed of” and that he was neither an anti-Semite nor a Nazi.
The former synagogue is now a community center that has hosted other political rallies.
The radical nationalist Jobbik party has made significant inroads in Hungary, impacting Jewish life there.
A September poll by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights noted that 91 percent of Hungarian Jews feel anti-Semitism in the country has increased in the past five years.