The extremists in Hungary have, yet again, been stirring up trouble for Roma communities. This time the disruption took place in Cegled. The precise sequence of events is, as is usual, both complex and contested. Here is an extract from one of the fullest reports over on Hungarian Spectrum:
The police estimated that there were at least 500 extremists in town and that overnight on August 19 three Jobbik members of parliament also appeared on the scene. There was fear in the town, and the streets were empty with the exception of the Roma-inhabited section of town where Gypsies were waiting for the approaching extremists coming toward their houses through an open field.
Gybognarjr, in the comments, points out the links between anti-Roma bigotry and antisemitism in Hungary, and also notes that Jobbik, Hungary’s far right party, seems keen to develop links with the Arab world. These observations are borne out by this recent report of a ‘friendly’ football match between Israel and Hungary in Budapest:
Hungarian fans turned their backs on the field during the singing of “Hatikvah,” the Israeli national anthem, and waved Iranian and Palestinian flags.
Fans who attended the match told Haaretz of booing throughout the game, which ended in a 1-1 draw. There were also chants of “Palestine, Palestine,” “stinking Jews,” “Buchenwald” and “Heil Benito Mussolini.”
“It wasn’t a group a crazies, but the entire crowd,” said one of those present.
The incident was not an isolated case, Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Jerusalem office, told Haaretz. “Hooliganism of this kind is indicative of the rise of anti-Semitism in Hungary today,” he said, adding that it is encouraged by the ultra-nationalist Jobbik party that denies Hungarian complicity in Holocaust crimes and supports Iran. Jobbik first gained seats in the Hungarian parliament two years ago, and now is the country’s third-largest political party.
Commenters on Hungarian Spectrum point out that Fidesz will of course be looking to pick up votes from Jobbik supporters, and this recent post is just one of many indicators that racism and bigotry are mainstream in Hungary.
Update: Here is a video of racist Hungarians booing and turning their back on the field when the Israeli national anthem is played. The chant “Mocskos Zsidok” literally translated means “Filthy Jews”.