A party that believes in a world Jewish conspiracy won the Hungarian general election on Sunday. The Nazis came second.
Around 60 percent of Hungarian citizens who voted backed a far right party. Across Europe the right was celebrating.
Disgracefully Tory foreign secretary Boris Johnson and Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu also sent their congratulations. The result is a real threat to Jews, Roma, LGBT+ people, women and other working class people.
Prime minister Victor Orban’s right wing racist Fidesz party won 134 out of 199 parliamentary seats.
The Nazi Jobbik party only made a modest increase to 25 seats, but is now the official opposition. Support for the alliance between the Labour-type Socialist Party (MSZP) and liberal Dialogue party collapsed.
Orban ran a vicious antisemitic election campaign based on “defending Hungary” from becoming an “immigrant nation”.
“We need to speak openly and directly about the kind of future Brussels, the United Nations and George Soros’ workshops have planned for us,” he said.
Financier Soros’s name is used as a codeword for Jews.
The right has dominated Hungarian politics since the financial crisis of 2007, which smashed a heavily-indebted middle class. The fascist Jobbik grew by blaming Jews and Roma people.
It drew behind it other sections of the society, such as some of the rural poor and young people, who had gained little from free market policies.
Jobbik set up the now—officially—banned paramilitary Hungarian Guard.
Fidesz was elected in 2010 after the MSZP’s scandal-ridden rule ended. It brought in legislation defending the “traditional family”, targeted the Roma and responded to Jobbik’s rise by trying to ape it.
Politics has shifted further to the right in the wake of the refugee crisis in 2015. Thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing the West’s wars forced their way through Hungary into Germany. German chancellor Angela Merkel and the EU responded by bringing in a quota for resettling refugees.
The Hungarian government built a fence on the border with Serbia and held a racist referendum on the quotas in 2016. It began to use Islamophobia to pose as a defender of “Christian Europe”.
When one form of racism grows, others flourish. Fidesz’s attacks on Soros are tied up with its Islamophobic scaremongering about refugees.
“The greatest danger is that millions of migrants threaten to come from the south,” he said last week.
“European leaders together with a billionaire speculator do not want to defend our borders but rather to admit migrants.”
While the fascists didn’t make gains, the threat is ever present.
Jobbik leader Gabor Vona said that he would resign. He previously led their paramilitary wing, but has tried to appear more respectable since they failed to break through in the 2014 general election.
At times during the campaign Jobbik seemed more moderate than Fidesz.
But Vona’s strategy of trying to appear respectable has failed and Jobbik could now go back to trying to build a street movement.
Hungary is a stark warning of what happens when the right and racism go unchallenged in their attempts to pull people’s anger rightwards.