BUDAPEST AFP-EJP—Hungarys Prime Minister on Wednesday blamed rising anti-Semitism at home on a US-based website and urged Washington to help close this source of “provocation”. On June 21, fifty members of the Congress wrote a letter to Orban calling on the Hungarian government to fight anti-Semitism and all extreme expressions.
Signatories to the letter voiced concern over racist and homophobic manifestations by Hungary’s radical nationalist Jobbik party.
Members of the US Congress wrote to Viktor Orban last month asking him to clearly condemn all forms of anti-Semitism following a series of recent incident. But in his reply to Congress, which was published Wednesday by news agency MTI, Orban said the website kuruc.info was the “Hungarian centre of anti-Semitism” and that it conducted its “shameful activities” from the United States. The government in Budapest had repeatedly asked US authorities to shut the website down, to no avail, Orban insisted.”If this problem were solved, the forces of anti-Semitism in Hungary would weaken noticeably,” he argued.
In his letter, addressed to Congressman Joseph Crowley, Orban said the political community he belongs to and him personally have been the targets of attacks by extremist forces that call them “Jewish lackeys”. ”I ask you to use your influence to stop these anti-Semitic provocations that come from the United States,” Orban wrote. The Congress members letter had come after a series of racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic actions and comments by the Hungarian far-right Jobbik party, and had urged Budapest to distance itself from them.In June, Holocaust survivor and Nobel peace laureate Elie Wiesel already returned Hungarys highest honour, which he had received in 2004, accusing the authorities of “encouraging the whitewashing of tragic and criminal episodes in Hungarys past.” In recent months, parks have been renamed and statues erected in honour of Miklos Horthy, Hungarys wartime leader and an ally of Adolf Hitler, while anti-Semitic writers have been reintroduced into school curriculums.