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FreeHungary Editorial: The failure of the Hungarian public opinion

It was only a question of time, and it duly arrived. I am talking about the latest episode of anti-Semitic outburst that happened a week ago against MTK Budapest, a club well-known for its Jewish associations since its foundation. As painful as it is to admit to ourselves, today MTK stands for a separate Jewish identity, and as such, it always will be a good target. Hating MTK is a not-so-secret way of hating the Jews. The fact that the leading voices behind these attacks come from the supporters of the most popular club in Hungary is very disturbing. Ferencváros has a history of anti-Semitic and racist behaviour, which is unparalleled in the Hungarian football scene. I think I am not alone if I say that chanting „the train is departing to Auschwitz" and remembering a war criminal, who sent thousands of Jews to their deaths is completely unacceptable and stomach churning. Even worse, these incidents are always bound to happen when Ferencváros plays MTK. What cannot be grasped by any thinking person is how can these shameful incidents occur time and again without any consequence? Why can't the leaders of the club take any action in order put an end to these atrocities? Only a week ago, supporters of Ferencváros remembered László Csatáry, a war criminal, who was among the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's 10 most wanted criminals. The response from the leaders of the club was tragic. Gábor Kubatov, who is the chairman of Ferencváros, called on the people who held the banner glorifying Csatáry to give themselves up to the police, and to apologise publicly. This proves that the chairman cannot be taken seriously, and the only thing he wants is to exempt himself from all responsibilities. The saddest part of the story is the way the rest of the supporters behaved. They could have booed, or profess their dislike in any other way. Instead, they sat there, fully resigned to what was happening in front of their eyes. What about MTK? Why couldn't they just walk off the pitch? If a black player is insulted, he usually walks off. In Hungary, if a whole minority if offended in the most disgusting way, resignation is the answer. However, this incident, no matter how shameful, was good for at least two reasons. First, it showed that the Hungarian public opinion is not a sufficient counterweight to anti-Semitism. Secondly, it showed that the big anti-fascist gathering of last February was completely useless. Back then we thought that something really important happened. The events of last week proved that what happened in February was nothing but a week of euphoria, when our politicians could bask in the praise of the international media. The reason we have people like Márton Gyönygyössy in the parliament is that we simply cannot or don't want to put an end to the rampant anti-Semitism in the public sphere. And no matter how many more demonstrations we organise, if meaningful action is not taken, those demonstrations will be nothing but a byword for self-deception.

László Társi; Freehungary; August 25. 2013.

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