Row in Hungary over far-right politician's Jewish jibe

By Sandy Rashty, May 11, 2012

Israel's envoy in Hungary has cancelled a scheduled visit to the northern town of Eger to protest against allegedly antisemitic comments made by a local politician and directed at a Jewish actor.

The Eger council member, who is part of the right-wing Fidesz party, is reported to have called national film star Jozsef Szekhelyi a "filthy Jew" who sympathises with left-wing politics.

The comments, during a Tourism and Culture Commission meeting that took place last September, were caught on tape but were only disclosed earlier this month.

The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities, Mazsihisz, submitted an official police complaint following the disclosure.

"Eger would not be what it is today without Jews," responded the town's mayor, Laszlo Habis.

"I would like ambassador Ilan Mor to get to know us and see that there is no discrimination in Eger," said Mr Habis.

The Budapest Jewish community is understood to be planning to stage a solidarity event to support Mr Szekhelyi on Sunday.

Last updated: 11:26am, May 11 2012