BUDAPEST, Nov. 27, 2012 – A leading member of Hungarian far-right Marton Gyongyosi, deputy group leader of Jobbik, the third-strongest political party in Hungary, called for a list of Jews who pose a “national security risk”, hinting that parliamentarians of Jewish origin had influenced Hungary’s attitude towards the latest Israeli offensive on Gaza.
According to a video Gyongyosi posted on Jobbik’s website: “I know how many people with Hungarian ancestry live in Israel, and how many Israeli Jews live in Hungary. 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.”
Gyongyosi dismissed demands he resign, however, and said his remarks during a debate on Monday had been misunderstood – stating he was referring only to Hungarians with Israeli passports – to citizens with dual Israeli-Hungarian citizenship.
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.”
Gusztav Zoltai, an Holocaust survivor, told Reuters that Gyongyosi’s rant “generates raw fear. This is the shame of Europe; the shame of the world.”
Slomo Koves, chief rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation wrote: “Jobbik has moved from representing medieval superstition (of the blood libel) to openly Nazi ideologies.”
It is not the first time that Jobbik politicians make anti-Semitic statements. In July, Gyongyosi lashed out at investigators searching for Nazi war criminals in Hungary.
About 500,000 to 600,000 Hungarian Jews were killed in the Holocaust, according to a memorial centre in Budapest. Some survivors reached Israel. Some 100,000 Jews now live in Hungary.
Not much of an apology and I don’t think anyone could misunderstand the meaning of his words.