Thursday, November 29, 2012
Hungary: Politician Calls for List to be Compiled of Jews Who Pose “National Security Risk”
by Zach Pontz
Hungary’s Jewish community has initiated a criminal procedure today against a Hungarian far-right politician in that country who recently urged the government to compile a list of Jews who pose a “national security risk.”
According to a video posted on Jobbik’s website, and reported by Reuters, Marton Gyongyosi, who leads Jobbik’s foreign policy cabinet, told Parliament: “I know how many people with Hungarian ancestry live in Israel, and how many Israeli Jews live in Hungary.”
“I think such a conflict [between Hamas and Israel] makes it timely to tally up people of Jewish ancestry who live here, especially in the Hungarian Parliament and the Hungarian government, who, indeed, pose a national security risk to Hungary.”
The Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregration released a statement today announcing their legal action that read in part:”The fact that a far right party can address Nazi principles in the Parliament is shocking and disappointing for the Hungarian Jewish Community and for every Hungarian Democrat.”
Dr. Slomó Köves, Executive Rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregration, told the Algemeiner that the Jewish community had no other recourse but to take to the courts.”In a normal country there is some type of moral borderline where you don’t have to go to court because of something that is said in Parliament. All the members of the other parties should stand up and say ‘this is unacceptable, this guy should just leave.’ And it seems like in Hungary there isn’t that healthy moral stance. So that leaves us the only possibility to go to court, and if we don’t succeed in the Hungarian court then we will maybe go to the EU.”
Reuters notes that Gyongyosi “is the son of a diplomat who grew up mostly in the Middle East and Asia — Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan and India — and whose office is decorated by Iranian and Turkish souvenirs.”
The government condemned Gyongyosi’s remarks, with the government spokesman’s office saying, “The government strictly rejects extremist, racist, anti-Semitic voices of any kind and does everything to suppress such voices.”
As for Gyongyosi, Reuters reports that he issued an apology through Jobbik’s website. “I apologize to my Jewish compatriots for my declarations that could be misunderstood,” he said.
Jobbik has gained an international reputation for its intolerant policies. Only recently famed American poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti declined an award from the Hungarian government, saying: “Since the Prize is partially funded by the present Hungarian government, and since the policies of this right-wing regime tend toward authoritarian rule and the consequent curtailing of freedom of expression and civil liberties, I find it impossible for me to accept the Prize in the United States.”
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