BUDAPEST, Hungary — Jewish student delegates at the World Jewish Congress called early Sunday for participants to abstain from clapping after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s address later that day, saying he was “a guest who does not deserve applause.”
The call came days ofter the Hungarian premier ordered the police to “do everything in its power” to prevent the nationalist, anti-Semitic Jobbik party from demonstrating near the WJC’s annual assembly, being held this year in Budapest.
Before the festive dinner that opened the three-day gathering — hosting over 600 people from 100 countries — members of the European Union of Jewish Students, World Union of Jewish Student and French Union of Jewish Students handed out leaflets titled “We won’t clap for Orban,” in which they pointed at the inclusion of anti-Semitic authors in the country’s school curriculum with the approval of Orban’s government.
The students, who are participating in the assembly’s “young Jewish professionals” gathering, also mentioned the involvement of Hungary’s government in the “reburial arrangements of Jozsef Nyrio, whose coup resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands.”
Nyrio was an anti-Semitic writer and activist who was involved in the killing of thousands of Hungarian Jews during World War II. In 2012, Israel un-invited the speaker of Hungary’s parliament over his participation in a memorial service for Nyrio.
Inviting the leader of a country continuously “removing democratic safeguards, to the extent that the European Union has threatened the government with legal action,” could be seen as giving him legitimacy, the students wrote.
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