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Budapest: Three neo-Nazis who assaulted WJC delegates sentenced

Budapest, Hungary, 11.5.2013 16:40, (ROMEA)

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) as warned that anti-Semitism could grow in Europe as a result of the exacerbated economic crisis. A report released at the end of the three-day general assembly in Budapest warns that politicians have a tendency to dedicate less attention to this issue during times of economic hardship.

"We hope for the best, but we must be prepared for the worst,” states the document, according to the Austria Presse-Agentur. The document calls on big political parties to thoroughly reject any contact whatsoever with neo-Nazis.  

Neo-Nazis are a real problem

According to the author of the report, British expert Robin Shepherd, the spread of neo-Nazi movements in Europe is currently a real problem. He gave the examples of  Jobbik, which is the third-strongest party in the Hungarian parliament, the Golden Dawn party in Greece, and the NPD in Germany.

The leadership of Jobbik sharply defended itself against the charges of extremism. Party spokesperson Ádám Mirkóczki said the WCJ declaration was a gross interference in the internal affairs of Hungary and charged the organization with wanting to “gain the upper hand in Hungarian domestic politics.” In his view, the Hungarian government has “embarrassed itself through its servility [toward the WCJ].”

Punishment for anti-Semitism

A court in Budapest has now handed down three sentences (two probationary) against three neo-Nazis for shouting anti-Semitic invective during the WJC meeting, which ended on Monday in the Hungarian capital. Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports that a spokesperson for the Hungarian state prosecutor announced the verdicts, which have yet to take effect.

According to the spokesperson, those now convicted had shouted "Sieg Heil", the infamous greeting of the German Nazis, at congress delegates along with racist threats. Plainclothes police officers on the scene reportedly prevented physical assaults from being carried out.

The trio participated in the rioting along with a small group of between 10 and 20 neo-Nazis. One of those convicted should now spend the next three years behind bars because he was already on probation for a drug offense. The other two received suspended sentences of two years in prison; the incident is a first conviction for both.

Lauder remaining at the head of the WJC

The WJC assembly takes place once every four years, almost always in Jerusalem. The societal situation in Hungary however, inspired its members to hold their first-ever assembly in a Central and Eastern European country this year. Hungary has recently been criticized for rising anti-Semitism.

The WCJ’s general assembly decided that the American entrepreneur Ronald Lauder will remain at the head of the global Jewish organization. The philanthropic billionaire has led the WCJ since 2007 and is active in many Jewish organizations. His business enterprises include media outlets and real estate. He is the co-owner and founder of the Central European Media Enterprises company (CME), which owns the television station TV Nova in the Czech Republic, and other stations, such as Slovakia’s TV Markíza.


fk, ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Antisemitismus, Budapešť, EU, Events, Extremism, Facism, Germany, Golden Dawn, Greece, Hungary, Neo-Nazism, news, Racism, Šikana, UK, world, Židé



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