Hungary was one of many countries worldwide to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day Sunday. Budapest hosted a special gathering of Israeli and European parliamentarians, who held a series of meetings focused on the disconcerting increase in anti-Semitism in the central European country.
The delegation was organized following remarks made by Hungarian MP Marton Gyongyosi, from the Jobbik Party, who in December urged Budapest to create a "registry" of Jewish MPs and government officials in the country.
- Int'l Holocaust Day: Obama vows 'never again'
Hungary: FM slams anti-Jewish remark
UN marks Int'l Holocaust Remembrance Day
The suggestion was harshly criticized by Budapest's government. Hungary's Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi called it "completely unacceptable," further slamming it as "the worst yet" in a series of bills attributed to the far-right party.
The Israeli delegates in Budapest
Hungary, he said, "Will not put up with actions by such groups and individuals. Hungary has the strongest laws against such manifestations."
On Sunday, the delegation met with several senior members of the Hungarian government, as well as several members of the opposition.
Among those who took meetings with the Israeli parliamentarians were Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Tibor Navracsics, who also serves as minister of public administration and justice; Minister of Human Resources Zoltan Balog, and Ferenc Kumin, who serves as deputy state secretary for international communication.
The delegations also met with Minister of State for National Developments Janos Fonagy; and MPs Richard Horcsik, Marton Braun, Lazlo Kovacs and Pal Steiner.
Following the first round of meetings, the delegation issued a statement saying: "We find great appreciation and a positive attitude from the political forces in Hungary towards our efforts to help them fight a particularly tough battle against anti-Semitism in their own parliament and in their society.
"Hungary stands with other European nations in its absolute refusal to let anti-Semitism dig its claws into human rights in Europe," the statement said.
"It is vital that a vibrant democracy like Hungary find an effective way to deal with the demagogues in its midst… and we will lend these efforts our full support."
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop