In November the Budapest Court of Appeal announced its binding sentence acquitting Lóránt Hegedűs protestant parson who, in a right-wing paper had openly called for the exclusion of Jews. The case was followed by a heated public debate about the necessity of bringing a stricter law on hate speech. In his article, Tibor Szeszlér lawyer, former chairman of B’nai B’rith Budapest argues for having stricter regulations in this respect. „I believe that at the moment it is not a lack of commitment on behalf of judges, but rather a lack of sensibility which stops them applying the present law consistently and properly. They do not have a thorough knowledge of the subject, of the history of the persecution, of the trauma of survivors and their descendant. Their total lack of knowledge about the underdiscussed events and consequences of the Hungarian Holocaust means that they are absolutely not capable of judging a case of this kind properly, with appropriate sensibility…”
The first Jewish radio station in Hungary, “Rádió Zs” has been launched. It can be received through the Internet at the following site: http:/www.sofar.hu. The founder, Attila Seres says: “We have launched a radio station with the intention of providing a framework for all those who have something to say about or to the Jewish community, so that they can put their programme together which we will then broadcast.”
We interviewed two politicians on the European Union’s relations with Israel. „There are five representatives of the European Council… who openly support Israel. There are some more voting for our side, but within the 400 members of the Assembly of which generally 200 representatives are present, our situation can be described as: few against many”- claims Mátyás Eörsi, one of the liberal Free Democrats party member of the Hungarian parliament. In a statement to Szombat, Tommy Lapid, Israel’s deputy Prime Minister called leading politicians of the European Union “neutral pro-Palestinian”.
We publish the chapter “The fourth humiliation” from Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi’s book Freud’s Moses: Judaism Terminable and Interminable, in which the author analyses the relationship between Sigmund Freud’s Jewish identity and his interpretation of Moses’s figure. He applies the concept of the “psychological Jew” to Freud’s ambivalent attitude toward Judaism and his own Jewishness.
We publish a chapter from Ágnes Gereben historian’s new book „Let my people go”. The book is about the history of Jews in the Soviet Union after 1945.
In our Esther’s Bag section we discuss the life and works of Judy Kaszab painter who emigrated to Australia fifty years ago. Andrea Pető interviewed Shulamit Reinhartz American historian, department leader at Brandeis University and founder and head of the Women’s Studies Research Centre.
Ferenc Jávori, founder and leader of the Budapest Klezmer Band told Szombat about his childhood in Mukacevo (under Soviet rule at the time): “All Jewish families there would send their children to music lessons as early as possible. I was four when I was given a piano to practice at home, but the head of the music school half jokingly said ‘This child should play the violin instead because it is easier to flee with that.'”