Hungary’s Supreme Court, the Kúria, has ruled that right-wing polemicist and founder member of the ruling Fidesz party, Zsolt Bayer had made anti-Semitic remarks in a January 2011 column in the Magyar Hírlap newspaper.
Bayer’s characteristically crude diatribe had been aimed at UK journalist Nick Cohen, French MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit and pianist András Schiff, all of whom had recently criticised Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, a close friend of Bayer.
He wrote of “someone calling himself Cohen, a stinking excrement from somewhere in England; Cohen, and Cohn-Bendit, and Schiff”, before continuing at length in a similar vein.
Klubrádió presenter György Bolgár and Péter Feldmájer, then president of Jewish umbrella group Mazsihisz, were among many who publicly condemned Bayer for anti-Semitism, the latter calling the article “anti-Jewish incitement”.
Bayer denied his piece was anti-Semitic and sued for defamation. His petition was initially turned down by Budapest Municipal Court but that decision was reversed by a court of appeal. The Kúria has now stated that the piece was indeed anti-Semitic.
As of Thursday, Bayer’s article was still online on Magyar Hírlap’s website.Monday, July 01, 2013