Updated: Rally in Support of Hamas Banned by Budapest Police Calendar

  • 18 Oct 2023 1:23 PM
  • Hungary Matters
Updated: Rally in Support of Hamas Banned by Budapest Police  Calendar
The Budapest Police Headquarters (BRFK) said on Friday that demonstrating in support of a terrorist organisation was not permitted, and Budapest police will not allow a rally in support of Hamas to take place in the capital during the day.

A statement on the police.hu website notes that a private individual announced the intention of holding a rally in Budapest’s 2nd district in connection with the war between Israel and Hamas.

The police said the rally was prompted by a call by “the terrorist organisation” on its followers around the world to “demonstrate anger”.

The 2018 law on the right of assembly, it said, prohibited holding any assembly that directly imperilled public safety, and punitive action would be taken against anyone taking part in a prohibited assembly.

Orbán: Terror 'Unacceptable'

Terrorism "is unacceptable", Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Friday in an interview to public radio, adding that "Hungary is on Israel's side".

Speaking about the attack carried out by Hamas, Orbán said it was “shocking” to see “the mark left by terrorism”. Orbán said the situation in Israel was a stark reminder of the value of peace and stability, and elected leaders had a duty to protect this. Hungary, he said, had always opposed terrorism irrespective of which country was being targeted.

“If a country is hit by a terrorist attack, its leaders — in this case Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu — no doubt think about their duty to their people and the need to do everything to prevent this,” Orbán said.

A country that is the victim of terrorism has the right to take steps to prevent such an attack from happening again and its citizens from becoming victims of terrorist strikes, he said.

The conflict in the Middle East must be contained, Orbán said, adding that though there was a war going on, Israel was fighting terrorism “like the Americans did”. “There’s no interstate war yet, and the danger is Israel getting into a war with one of the neighbouring Arab countries,” he said.

Orbán: Arab-Israeli War Would Destabilise Region

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in an interview with public radio on Friday, said an Arab-Israeli war would destabilise the region, shaking global politics “to the extent that the shockwaves would also be felt in Hungary”.

Though Hungarian diplomacy recognises Israel’s right to self-defence, it must pursue a de-escalation policy to prevent an interstate war, he said.

Meanwhile, he said the government trusted it would manage to evacuate every Hungarian who wants to leave Israel, adding there were so far no Hungarians known to be among the victims of the terror attack.

“Things were just starting to go well in that corner of the world,” Orbán said, noting the improvements in Arab-Israeli relations under Donald Trump’s US presidency.

There were even improvements in some of the Arab-Israeli relations which no one would have thought possible just a few years prior, he added. Whether the terrorist attack was committed to thwart this process, he said, was for now “only speculation” on which Hungary has no intelligence reports yet.

“But it is important to save every element of the peace process possible in spite of the attack,” the prime minister said.

Orbán called it “shocking” that rallies were planned or held in support of the terrorists across Europe.

There were attempts to organise such rallies in Hungary too, he said, “but demonstrations in support of terrorist organisations can’t be held, because that in itself would pose a terror threat.” “We won’t therefore allow this in any way,” he added.

The fact that several European countries were failing to prevent such “pro-terror” rallies meant that there were many living in those countries who supported such attacks, the prime minister said. Because western European countries had allowed an uncontrolled influx of migrants during the migration crisis, “Hamas agents are among them now, which poses a direct threat to every western European country”, he added.

“Let’s thank God that our mind and heart was in the right place in 2015, and we built the border fence and implemented the legal entry restrictions which has helped us keep the terror threat that goes hand in hand with migration … away from Hungary,” Orbán said.

He said the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and now the terrorist attack in Israel showed that “we are living in a dangerous era”, and the Hungarian state must stand firm and “won’t tolerate” any lessening of security in the country. Orbán noted that Hungary has one of Europe’s largest Jewish communities.

“Of course it’s a diverse world … just as in Israel,” he said, adding that whereas people held different political views, they were “all citizens of Hungary”.

“They are Hungarian citizens, and the Hungarian state must protect them,” he said. Hungarian citizens must not be allowed to feel in peril because of their origin or religion, he added.

No Place for Pro-Terrorism Demonstrations in Budapest,  Says Mayor Karácsony

There is and will be no place for any kind of demonstration in Budapest in support of terrorism, including the Hamas group responsible for the bloodshed in Israel, Gergely Karácsony, the city’s mayor, said on Facebook.

Karácsony said he had consulted on Monday with Budapest police chief Tamás Terdik, and they confirmed that they were in agreement on the matter.

“This is not a matter of debate or consideration, it’s a conviction,” the mayor said. “Budapest says no to terror and no to those seeking to relativise terror in any way.”

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