MP’s ‘Jew list’ offer angers Hungarians
BUDAPEST - Reuters
Followers of the Jobbik protest the Israeli raid in Budapest in this photo.A Hungarian far-right politician urged the government to draw up lists of Jews who pose a “national security risk,” stirring outrage among Jewish leaders who saw echoes of fascist policies that led to the Holocaust.
Marton Gyongyosi, a leader of Hungary’s third-strongest political party Jobbik, said the list was necessary because of heightened tensions following the brief conflict in Gaza and should include members of Parliament. Opponents have condemned frequent anti-Semitic slurs and tough rhetoric against the Roma minority by Gyongyosi’s party as populist point scoring ahead of elections in 2014. 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,” according to a video posted on Jobbik’s website late on Nov. 26.
“I think such a conflict 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 government condemned the remarks. Gyongyosi tried to play down his comments yesterday, saying he was referring to citizens with dual Israeli-Hungarian citizenship. “I apologize to my Jewish compatriots for my declarations that could be misunderstood,” he said.