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April 29, 2013 5:52 pm

Hungarian Activist Assaulted by Far-Right Soccer Fans Ahead of World Jewish Congress Meeting

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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. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The 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.

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.

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“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.

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