head of a Hungarian human rights organization said he was verbally and
physically assaulted by far-right fans at a soccer match in Hungary ahead of a
World Jewish Congress meeting.
The logo of the far-right Hungarian political party, Jobbik, whose rising influence in the country has led to concerns of increased anti-Semitism and hate speech. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Ferenc Oroscz, chairman of the Raoul
Wallenberg Association, a human rights organization dedicated to Swedish
diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews during the
Holocaust, said he witnessed several fans at a soccer match in Budapest
chanting pro-Nazi slogan such as “Sieg Heil.”
When he attempted to confront the fans on
their hate speech, they then verbally assaulted Oroscz, calling him a “Jewish
communist.” Later, as Oroscz was leaving the match, he was approached by two
men, one who hit him, breaking his nose.
A recent study conducted by Tel Aviv
University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry
revealed that global anti-Semitism was up 30 percent in 2012, with the largest
rise in attacks occurring in economically troubled Europe, specifically in
France, Greece, Hungary and Ukraine. In particular, the rise of the far-right
Jobbik party in Hungary has alarmed many human rights groups.
“Since Jobbik got into parliament (in
2010), hate speech has gained a lot more ground,” Orosz told Reuters.
Meanwhile, far-right supporters said
they will hold a rally against “Bolshevism and Zionism” on the eve of the World
Jewish Congress meeting, which is set to begin on Sunday.