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Prime Minister asks US Congress to shut down anti-Semitic portal

July 6th, 2012

Commenting on an exchange of letters between US congressmen and Viktor Orbán on anti-Semitism in Hungary, a pro-government columnist says Fidesz is a victim of anti-Semitic attacks, and is fighting anti-Semitism. The commentator in the largest left wing daily , however, says that  if the government really wanted to block anti-Semitic content, it should turn to Internet Service Providers, instead of asking US congressmen to act.

In his response to a letter by fifty U.S. Congressmen, who expressed concern over anti-Semitism in Hungary, Viktor Orbán asked for their help in banning Kuruc.info, an extreme right-wing, anti-Semitic online portal. Kuruc.info is hosted on American servers to avoid a ban in Hungary.  Action against the portal has proved ineffective over time as it keeps moving from one server to another, and the US authorities have turned down Hungarian requests to ban the site, invoking the First Amendment.

In Magyar Nemzet, Szabolcs Szerető says the Hungarian right has been continuously accused of anti-Semitism since 1990, although anti-Semitism is not an important issue in Hungary, only a subculture around Jobbik.  Americans failed to notice that major political players and the churches have cooperated in speaking out against serious anti-Semitic attacks in Hungary.  Kuruc.info is the primary instigator of anti-Semitism in Hungary –Szerető argues – and action against it has been made difficult by “left liberals” who are quick to accuse “everyone who does not agree with them” of anti-Semitism, so the line between anti-Semites and democrats is not clear for the public. The honesty of such charges is questionable, considering that János Zuschlag, a former MSZP MP (now serving a jail sentence for corruption), once made jokes about Holocaust victims – he concludes. (Zuschlag was then forced by his party to resign as a member of parliament.)

In Népszabadság, Endre Aczél reports that in Spain, kuruc.info was made unavailable by Telefónica’s filtering system, Canguru Net. If Orbán took Kuruc.info seriously, he should ask Hungarian ISPs to introduce similar filters. It is clear that to make content unavailable – says Aczél – is censorship, a tool of dictatorships, and that Hungarian ISPs will resist such efforts. But paedophilia can be controlled, and there is at least one case, as cited above in Spain, in which „political paedophilia” was controlled. Of course, he adds, the Hungarian government could also help control the spread of anti-Semitism “by not idolizing anti-Semitic writers and politicians” (see Budapost, 2nd July, 2012).

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