Hungary Stands Up United Against Anti-Semitic Attack

  • 12 Jun 2012 9:00 AM
Hungary Stands Up United Against Anti-Semitic Attack
Political, religious, and local community leaders unanimously condemned the anti-Semitic assault against a rabbi in Budapest. Civil associations also raised their voice in support of Chief Rabbi József Scweitzer. Chief Rabbi Emeritus József Schweitzer was accosted by a man who swore at him and shouted, „I hate all Jews.” The incident took place in Budapest June 5, 2012.

The Hungarian Government, following the incident, issued a statement that it „will take action against all expressions of extremism, racism and anti-Semitism” and that it „utterly condemns the insult recently directed at former Chief Rabbi József Schweitzer, who is one of the most highly respected Hungarian intellectuals.”

The statement of the Government fully accords with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s earlier declaration that Hungary is committed to safeguard the rights of all religious and ethnic communities.

Foreign Minister János Martonyi sent of support expressing his solidarity with Schweitzer and his dismay that such a distinguished member of Hungarian society had suffered a vile assault.

President of Hungary János Áder released an open letter to all Hungarian citizens in which he called on the citizens to erect an impervious spiritual wall against all manifestations of racism and discrimination. President Áder also paid a personal visit to Chief Rabbi Schweitzer on the day following the incident.

Cardinal Péter Erdő, the leader of the Catholic Church in Hungary, along with the leaders of the Calvinist and Lutheran Churches, issued a joint statement condemning „in the strongest terms” the attack against Schweitzer and expressing „sympathy and solidarity” with the Chief Rabbi.

The opposition parties of MSZP (Socialists) and LMP (Greens) also publicly condemned the brutal assault and reinforced their commitment to fight against racism and anti-Semitism.

A wave of solidarity spread all over Hungary in response to the vicious attack against Chief Rabbi Schweitzer. A great number NGOs with various background felt obliged to raise their voice in support of Chief Rabbi Schweitzer, and several town mayors called for joint public expressions of sympathy.

In an interview, published in a Hungarian daily, June 8, 2012, Chief Rabbi Schweitzer said, „There are some bad things with which nothing good is connected, but in this case there is indeed a lot of good. Let me express my thanks to all who expressed their sympathy for me.” He added that it was not his person that was important, but that no such incidents should occur in a democratic society.

Source: - Ministry of Foreign Affairs


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