This video says about itself:
Hungary’s far-right plays with fire – reporter
26 April 2013
“Death to the Jews!” “Auschwitz isn’t this way!” “We’re taking you to a free campsite, with heating!” “No return ticket!”
Slogans like these were heard in the streets of Budapest last year, when the Hungarian capital was invaded by a demonstration by the extreme right.
As police looked on arms folded, one journalist who was filming had his nose broken in five places.
We met up with him six months later. He is still waiting for any charges to be brought, after having filed two complaints against his attackers, and the police.
“I looked over our videos of the past years, when they are shouting for example anti-semitic or anti-gypsy words. In the past it was a bit more covered. But now it’s really direct. It shows maybe it’s more “OK” now to speak directly and to speak with hate,” says Barna Szasz.
This rise in extremism fuelled a record turnout for the ‘March for Life’ in Budapest on April 21st, the traditional march in memory of the more than 500,000 Hungarian Jews who perished in the Holocaust in World War Two.
It is also one of the reasons why the World Jewish Congress’ Plenary session, normally held in Israel, is coming to Budapest this year.
Anti-semitic incidents have risen in the last few months in Hungary, which has Central Europe’s largest Jewish community.
One of its leaders made the headlines last winter when he called for a list to be made of members of parliament, the government, and civil service who were Jewish and could represent a threat to national security.
Public outrage followed. He retorted by claiming he was not anti-semitic and was only looking at double nationality issues.
“Any citizen of a country that completely disregards international law and commits genocide 24 hours a day against the Palestinian people means a national security risk anywhere in any country that they go to. This is the reason why Hungarian-Israeli citizenship is of particular interest to us. And also because Shimon Peres, the president of Israel, back in October 2007, talked about my country, Hungary, as the target of Israeli Jewish businessmen and financial people. And this was all in the context of colonisation and building empires,” insisted Marton Gyongyosi.
This is an embarrassment for the Hungarian government, when it is trying to strengthen good relations with Israel.
One journalist, who prefers to remain anonymous, insisted this will not be enough to beat a spreading disease. He is on a list of Hungarian Jewish figures that does the rounds of extreme-right internet hate sites, where he is the subject of frequent attacks.
“The commentaries were extremely aggressive, including the regret that the job of Auschwitz was not finished and things like this. The truth is that my feeling of security has disappeared. Not in everyday life, I’m not afraid on the bus or in the subway. But I’m very uncertain about my future. And I have to tell you that I regard it much more as a European phenomenon,” he said.
For the director of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities, Mazsihisz, the country still needs to come to terms with its history before mentalities can change.
“In Germany people are confronted with their past. Not here. There are things that cannot be tackled with laws. The most important thing is for things to be clear in people’s minds. We need to discuss everything from the past. The only thing that can help us is education, educating the young,” said Gusztav Zoltai.
Recent recommendations from the Education Ministry, for example adding authors known for their anti-Semitism during World War Two to the school syllabus, sparked protests.
While in Italy, police violently arrest refugees from war-torn Syria and African countries, the far Right government of Viktor Orbán in Hungary goes even further: NATO member state Hungary is bringing back the Berlin wall against refugees from NATO’s wars in the Middle East and Africa crossing the Hungarian southern border.
Well, Berlin wall … not really. The Orbán regime is planning something bigger: a ‘four-metre-high fence along the length of Hungary’s 175km [110-mile] border with Serbia’. The original wall between East and West Berlin was ‘only’ 140km long and 3.6m high.
Being staunchly anti-comnunist, Viktor Orbán won’t like comparisons to the Berlin wall. He would probably rather compare his construction to George W Bush’s wall along the United States southern border against refugees and other immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America. Or he might like comparisons to how his right-wing colleagues of the Partido Popular in Spain treat immigrants: by transporting ill African refugees in garbage trucks; by shooting at drowning refugees who had tried to reach Spain; or by razor wire fences wounding immigrants trying to climb them.
Viktor Orbán might even like comparisons to the wall separating Israel from occupied Palestinian territories. Though that might jeopardize Orbán’s cooperation with the Hungarian neo-nazi party Jobbik. Jobbik are such fanatical anti-Semites that they hate the state Israel, and even the most far right-wing Jew in Israel; contrary to other European far right extremists who, though being anti-Semitic, hate ‘Muslims’ and/or ‘Arabs’ and/or Africans even more fanatically, so may try to make deals with Israeli extremists.
On the other hand, Jobbik likes the billboards which the Viktor Orbán government is putting up all over Hungary, saying that immigrants ‘take away Hungarians’ jobs’. There is much poverty and unemployment in Hungary. A result of Viktor Orbán’s policies; not of immigrants. Maybe similar hate campaigns by the British Conservative government inspired Mr Orbán in this. With poverty everywhere, there is apparently enough money in Hungary for this hate campaign.
A hate campaign which includes Mr Orbán equating immigrants with terrorists. And advocating concentration camps for them, in which they would be forced to work.
Also, Viktor Orbán would like to bring back the death penalty. This is against European Union human rights rules. The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) in the European Parliament has condemned talk in Hungary of restoring the death penalty (which Orbán talked about, asked to do so by the Jobbik nazis). Nevertheless, in the Dutch affiliate of ALDE, the VVD, Patrick van Schie, the boss of the ‘scientific’ party bureau, wanted to bring the death penalty back. The death penalty had been abolished by the Dutch (then Liberal) government in 1870.
In Britain, Conservative Michael Gove – David Cameron’s new Justice Secretary – is on record as wanting to bring back death by hanging.
The question of the distribution of a few tens of thousands of refugees is increasingly becoming the subject of a bitter dispute between European Union member states. Some are now threatening to end the Schengen Agreement and its associated freedom of movement within the EU, and to reintroduce border controls: here.