January 24, 2010
Jewish groups protest Jobbik meeting
Protests lodged by several regional Jewish organizations prevented the nationalist Jobbik party from holding a mass pre-election meeting inside a defunct synagogue.
The neglected building in the northern Hungarian city of Esztergom has been used as a cultural center since World War II, when the prosperous local Jewish community was destroyed by the Nazis.
János Knapp, deputy mayor of Esztergom, declared last Friday that the city had withdrawn permission from Jobbik to hold a rally in the building in deference to its citizens murdered during the Holocaust.
The civic authority had rented the central assembly hall of the building for the occasion to a private individual who had failed to specify the identity of the sponsoring organization. The regional Jewish organizations raised their protest with civic authorities after Jobbik launched a last-minute publicity campaign to invite its supporters to the synagogue.
The meeting last Friday was held at a different venue. Jobbik is widely expected to win substantial parliamentary representation in upcoming national elections.