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Szombat Journalists Fail To Defend Israel, Call Out Anti-Semitism

Recently two journalists at the left-wing Jewish weekly Szombat, editorial board member and historian Attila Novák and editor János Gadó have given interviews, in which they have both debated known anti-Zionist and anti-Semite, journalist Csaba Tibor Tóth. (For the MIMC Organisation’s extensive blog entries on Tóth’s anti-Semitism, click here).

Failure to defend Israel

Novák gave an interview to’s own podcast regarding the recent Israel-Gaza tensions.

During the interview Tóth stated a number of times that the fight was “unequal” and that Israel was “escalating” the situation.

Tóth claimed that Hamas was a group “mostly without means aside from rockets”, and claimed that the residents of Gaza were living in “constant terror” – because of Israel.

Tóth kept repeating the words “Israeli influence” and “Hamas is not a country” throughout the conversation, mostly outside of coherent sentences.

The journalist also claimed that Joe Biden’s foreign policy was controlled by “right-wingers”.

Tóth has also used an expression used by interwar and Holocaust-era Hungarian anti-Semites, namely the “gaining of ground” by Jews (térfoglalás).

Unfortunately Novák failed to correct a number of Tóth’s distortions.

Novák claimed that settlers were “occupying” houses in East-Jerusalem (házfoglalás), which is a kind of “expansion” (folyik egyfajta terjeszkedés).

Novák called the events in Sheikh Jarra “highly problematic”, although he did admit that Hamas used them as pretence.

The editorial board member of Szombat did not explain in detail and with dates, how the real Jewish owners of the houses in Jerusalem were dispossessed by the Jordanians, and how the legal procedures went after 1967.

Novák has also added that “building walls is very ugly, I admit”, but said that the separation barrier was necessary because the Arabs were “shooting”. In reality, the 708 km long wall was built after the intifada of 2000, and after its completion in 2003, the number of terror attacks dropped by 84% between 2003 and 2006. Therefore the wall is not “ugly”, but a necessary measure to defend civilians. Novák, unfortunately, did not explain this.

Novák said of the conflict between Hamas and Israel that it was a conflict of “tanks and slings, David and Goliath”.

The historian also claimed that far-left activist Uri Avneri was “still alive, I believe”. Avneri died in 2018.

Failure to call out anti-Semitism

Gadó gave an interview for a left-wing YouTube channel called Partizán, by journalist Márton Gulyás.

His debate partner was also Tóth.

Gadó failed to call out Tóth as an anti-Semite, even though Tóth accused Israel of “genocide”, “ethnic cleansing” and “carpet bombing” throughout the show.

When Gulyás asked Gadó if he thought Tóth was an anti-Semite, he said “I did not say that, you cannot say that I said that”.

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