BUDAPEST (JTA) — Neo-Nazi protesters disrupted a Chanukah celebration in Budapest.
Members of the Hungarian Guard shouted anti-Semitic epithets in the middle of Heroes Square, not far from where several hundred mostly young people lit torches to celebrate the holiday. The Chanukah program was organized by the Balint-Haz Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Agency for Israel and Hungarian Jewish youth organizations.
The Chanukah crowd was attempting to create the shape of a chanukiyah using people and torches.
A local rabbi, Tamas Vero, congratulated them for coming to the public square to create what he called the largest human chanukiyah. He asked God to bless all of the participants in the event and the nearby protesters.
The extremists raised a red-and-white striped Arpad flag, used by a far-right-wing, pro-German, anti-Semitic national socialist party led by Ferenc Szálasi that ruled Hungary from Oct. 15, 1944 to January 1945, and sent thousands of Jews to their deaths.
Police reportedly registered the identities of some of the protesters.