Hungarian ruling party sponsors festival with anti-Semitic books

‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ and other tracts on display at university event in Slovakia

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (photo credit: screen capture/WJC)
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (photo credit: screen capture/WJC)

JTA — Anti-Semitic literature was on display at a festival in Slovakia sponsored by Hungary’s ruling party, Fidesz.

Among the books on display at the event were Henry Ford’s “The International Jew,” “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” and Erno Raffay’s openly anti-Semitic book on the Freemasons, “Politizalo szabadkomuvesseg,” according to a report Thursday on the website Hungarian Spectrum.

The July 18-21 Free University was partly paid for by Fidesz, according to Professor Eva Balogh of Yale University, who blogs on current affairs for the news site. A keynote speaker was Laszlo Kover, the speaker of the Hungarian parliament, the National Assembly of Hungary.

MKP, an ethnic Hungarian party in Slovakia, hosted the event, and it was co-organized by the Fidesz youth organization Fidelitas and the Association of the Young Christian Democrats.

Last month, Hungary’s highest court ruled that a co-founder of Fidesz, Zsolt Bayer, had made anti-Semitic statements in a 2011 Op-Ed.

Fidesz has condemned the ultranationalist opposition Jobbik party for its anti-Semitism, but Jewish leaders and U.S. officials have said that the rejection of anti-Semitism by Fidesz and its leaders has not been forceful enough. Last month, the State Department’s anti-Semitism envoy said Hungary’s government must do more to condemn political anti-Semitism.

“Prime Minister Viktor Orban strongly denounced anti-Semitism in his address to the World Jewish Congress in Budapest last month,” said the June 25 letter from Ira Forman. “While we were encouraged by his statements, we believe the government must do more to condemn publicly the incendiary rhetoric of the opposition Jobbik Party,” Forman said.

Forman added that State Department officials “regularly” raise the matter of anti-Semitism with their Hungarian counterparts, and that “we will continue pressing for action.”

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