ADL Calls for Thorough Investigation in Wake of Anti-Semitic Beating in Budapest
New York, NY, July 10, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the government of Hungary to pursue an “effective and comprehensive” investigation into the brutal beating of a Jewish man in Budapest, and to take steps to root out anti-Semitism among law enforcement and within society.
The beating of a young Jewish man, a kosher restaurant supervisor who was followed home on June 30 by three men who hurled anti-Semitic epithets during the alleged assault, comes at a time of growing concerns about anti-Semitism in Hungarian society and the rising popularity of the far-right extremist party, Jobbik.
“The highest political echelons need to reinforce the message of zero tolerance for anti-Semitism and bigotry and of full assurance of civil rights for all of Hungary’s citizens,” said Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.
Hungarian Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai has instructed the Justice Minister, Tibor Draskovics, to investigate the assault and to recommend measures to prevent such attacks in the future. In a letter to Bajnai, the League urged the prime minister to ensure the investigation was “… effective, comprehensive, and instills trust within Hungary’s Jewish community.”
According to members of the Jewish community of Budapest, the victim was severely beaten by three men who cornered him in an apartment building and asked if he was Jewish. The assailants allegedly yelled, “you should go back to Auschwitz, you stinky Jews” as they pummeled the victim. No arrests have been made in the case thus far.
Last month, the League wrote to the Hungarian prime minister to voice concerns about signs of growing anti-Semitism within the TMRSZ police trade union -- which in a newsletter advocated anti-Semitism as “the duty of every Hungarian patriot” -- and the strong showing of the extremist Jobbik party in European parliamentary elections.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.