Tens of thousands of people gathered in front of Hungarian Parliament in Budapest on Sunday afternoon for a demonstration organized in protest against anti-Semitic remarks by a radical Jobbik party MP's in the national assembly.
Speaking before the crowd, the parliamentary group leader of the ruling Fidesz party, Antal Rogán rejected all "racist expressions" or the "belittling of the suffering and death of innocent millions".
He said "a genocide is always preceded by lists" and said it was unacceptable that "people should fail to learn the lessons of the past one hundred years". No Hungarian citizen should be humiliated or stigmatized because of his religion or ethnicity, Rogán added.
Speaking on behalf of electoral movement ‘Together 2014’, former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai called for broad cooperation in the fight against neo-Nazi ideology.
"We want to live together in peace in a country where it is a fundamental right to live without fear," Bajnai said, adding that anti-Semitic or anti-Roma remarks could never be dismissed as harmless. "Nazism is not compatible with life," he said.
"One must cooperate with all potential partners to fight Nazism, but they must never cooperate with the Nazis just to gain power," said Bajnai.
Leader of the opposition Socialist Party, Attila Mesterházy told the crowd that "fascism is a virus, and Jobbik is a host", and called for a coordinated effort against any advance of the far right.
Mesterházy called on Fidesz to use its two-thirds majority in parliament and join an initiative by small leftist party Democratic Coalition to "quarantine" Jobbik.
Mesterházy announced that as long as Jobbik MP Márton Gyöngyösi -- who made the contested remarks -- was deputy head of parliament's foreign affairs committee, the Socialists would boycott its sessions. He also called on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to make a statement about Jobbik in the next parliamentary session.
Demonstrators from all over Hungary were holding signs with the names of their towns and villages as well as anti-Nazi and anti-Jobbik slogans. US Ambassador Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis and Israeli Ambassador Ilan Mor were among those attending.
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