Anti-semitic scandal in Eger

Actor József Székhelyi had been invited to perform as part of a cultural event in Eger, but the city council decided (after the posters and programmes had been printed) to un-invite him because, as Local Fidesz-Christian Democrat council member György Várkonyi put it, he is a "Liberal, stinking Jew". Székhelyi said on Monday that the president of the republic, the speaker of parliament and the prime minister should raise their voice against such racist remarks. If nothing happens, he might sue Eger council.

Hungarian Jewish Confederation (Mazsihisz)filed an official complaint Tuesday over racial discrimination in an incident that mixes politics and arts in the northern town of Eger.

The complaint to the public prosecutor's office was prompted by an audio recording. This relates to an incident last year in Eger where the actor, cast in more than 50 local films, was denied participation in the annual cultural festival because "he was not welcome by the inhabitants of the city".

According to the tape recording, a fairly heated discussion ensued over József Székhelyi's appearance in Eger. According to one of the participants, just because "everybody says that Székhelyi is a filthy Jew of SZDSZ sympathies" he is still a good actor who is fantastic at reciting Villon.

The Mazsihisz alliance asked the prosecutor to investigate the incident and to hold those involved accountable.

László Habis, the mayor of Eger, also ordered an investigation of the meeting of the committee on culture and tourism.Of the nineteen council members in Eger, by the way, thirteen are Fidesz-KDNP, two Jobbik, two MSZP, one LMP, and one independent.

Earlier on last Friday, Fidesz's parliamentary group leader, said the Fidesz government has done everything in its power to ensure that all communities in Hungary are safe and secure, and it guarantees the safety and protection of the Jewish community, too, János Lázár.Speaking at a joint news conference held with Ilan Mor, the Israeli ambassador to Hungary, Lázár said the government had an interest in building and reorganising the country so that everyone's human rights are safeguarded.

"This means we resolutely reject any attack on the Hungarian Jewish community," Lázár said in Hódmezővásárhely, the city of which he is the mayor. "We stand up to any such social endeavours without compromise or mercy " he added.

He said that before 2010 neo-Nazis had marched in Budapest and now this was unimaginable. The government, he said, has essentially obliterated the self-styled paramilitary Hungarian Guard.

"The Hungarian reality is much better than European or American journalists portray from time to time," Lázár said.

He said that Fidesz and the Hungarian government paid "friendly attention" to the State of Israel, which forms with it an "economic and political alliance". Over the past 25 years, exceptionally good relations have developed between the two countries, he said, adding that Hungary supports Israel's efforts to modernise its economy and society.

The ambassador said the economic partnership between the two countries was "very important" and serious opportunities were ready to be tapped.

Mor said the Jewish community formed an important part of Hungarian society and should not be dealt with as an ethnic minority. "[They are] just as Hungarian as anyone else and are distinguished only by their religion," he said.

Source: MTI, AFP

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 09:11