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Hungarian Member of Parliament calls for creating list of Jews sitting in Parliament and in government

On November 26th, 2012 a Hungarian MP, Márton Gyöngyösi called for the government to count the Jews and to make a list of those. He also stated that Jews pose a national security risk. After his remarks, none of the Hungarian MPs were at all shocked or upset. The Speaker of the House did not mute Gyöngyösi's microphone and did not discipline him either; yet, his remarks received a gentle applause and tacit support among some on the right.

 Márton Gyöngyösi, MP had the following to say: "I think it's high time the government made a survey of how many persons of Jewish origin are residing in Hungary, especially of those who are members of Parliament and serve in public office in the government because they pose national security risk to Hungary. In my view, the government owes the Hungarian people such a survey."

Zsolt Németh, Deputy State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responded: "Well, Mr. Gyöngyösi, I cannot support such a survey. I think the number of Jews in the Hungarian government doesn't correlate to the conflict in the Gaza strip."

Although the inital response from the governmetn was muted, on Tuesday, a spokesman said that it "most categorically condemns" Gyongyosi's remarks. It took a day to the government government to release a statement saying that the government "takes the strictest possible action against every form of racism and anti-Semitic behaviour and does everything in order to ensure that malicious voices incompatible with European norms are driven back."

Leftist opposition party Democratic Coalition led by former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány called for the dissolution of the far-right Jobbik, while the largest opposition group, the Socialist Party, called for stricter laws against hate speech. 

Earlier this year, in February, Márton Gyöngyösi, deputy leader and foreign affairs spokesman of Jobbik, the far-right party with representation in the Hungarian parliament, has openly questioned the Holocaust, claimed that Jews were colonizing Hungary and that Israeli treatment of the Palestinians amounted to a "Nazi system". In an interview with the Britsh weekly 'Jewish Chronicle', Gyöngyösi questioned whether Jews have "the right to talk about what happened during the Second World War".

Gyöngyösi questioned whether 400,000 Hungarian Jews really were killed or deported to the Nazi camps during the World War II. "It has become a fantastic business to jiggle around with the numbers," he told the newspaper. Jobbik (which translates as Movement for a Better Hungary) currently holds 47 parliamentary seats and is the country's third largest party. It is notorious for its homophobic, anti-Jewish and anti-Roma stance.

In 2007, Jobbik leader Gábor Vona set up the paramilitary Hungarian Guard, a now-banned civil defense force which patrolled the streets and used insignia similar to the Arrow Cross, the Hungarian fascist movement that helped the Nazis murder many of the country's Jews. Jobbik is opposed to foreign investment and sees Israeli business as a threatening force inside the country. Referring to a speech made by Shimon Peres in 2007 in which the Israeli President celebrated the success of Israeli businessmen around the world, including Hungary, Gyöngyösi said: "Jews are looking to build outside of Israel. There is a kind of expansionism in their behavior. If Peres is supporting colonisation, it is a natural reaction for people to feel that Jews are not welcome here."

Israel was founded by "terrorists" and today ran a "Nazi system, based on racial hatred. Look at [Foreign Minister Avigdor] Lieberman, he's no different to Goebbels. He is a pure Nazi", Gyöngyösi declared in the interview in February.

Meanwhile, the 'Jewish Chronicle' said Jobbik is seeking to cultivate a relationship with Iran. In January last year, Vona took the Iranian ambassador to the Hungarian town of Tiszavasvari, which he called "the capital of our movement". And in October, Jobbik hosted a large Iranian delegation to Hungary, at which Vona declared: "For Iran, Hungary is the gate to the West." Gyöngyösi told the Jewish newspaper that "Iran is in the center of a Middle East axis that Israel and the US want to subjugate and keep under their control. Iran is an extremely peaceful country and never started a war, unlike Israel which has declared wars on anything and everybody around it."


Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 09:11

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