Hungary protests at far-right rally in ex-shul

By Valentina Jovanovski, February 20, 2014
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Hungarians demonstrated against a rally held by the antisemitic Jobbik party at a former shul last week.

More than a hundred protesters gathered outside the building in the northern city of Esztergom, where Jobbik leader Gábor Vona spoke to supporters as part of his campaign ahead of the Hungarian elections in April.

Demonstrators read out the names of about 500 people from Esztergom who were killed during the Holocaust. Its Jewish population was wiped out.

Organiser Ágnes Drelyó said the protest was successful in disrupting the Jobbik rally, adding that the protesters would not “let [this kind of rally] happen again”.

Ms Drelyó said she was disappointed that the ruling Fidesz party, as well as Esztergom’s independent mayor, did not join the demonstration. Some members of a coalition of left-wing opposition parties did attend.

Protester Péter Lakatos said that, even though the venue is now a cultural centre and not a functioning shul, it is “not a neutral place” and the protest was “a response to [Jobbik’s] provocation”.

A heavy police presence kept the protesters apart from Jobbik supporters.

The latest poll conducted by Ipsos in February shows Jobbik is supported by 9 per cent of all voters — an increase on the previous month.

Last updated: 9:45pm, February 20 2014