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Democratic Coalition MPs attending plenary session with yellow stars

A Hungarian far-right politician urged the government to draw up lists of Jews who pose a "national security risk", stirring outrage among the whole Hungarian political spectrum.

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On Tuesday, MPs of the Democratic Coalition as well as Socialist Deputy Speaker István Ujhelyi attended the plenary session with yellow stars on their jackets in protest against Mr Gyöngyösi's speech. NGOs and several hundred people held a "yellow star demonstration" in front of Parliament building on Tuesday afternoon.

tnti

Photo: Reuters/Bernadett Szabo

The government strongly condemned Mr Gyöngyösi's speech and assured Hungary's Jews and all minorities of its readiness to protect them: "The government strictly rejects extremist, racist, anti-Semitic voices of any kind and does everything to suppress such voices. The government at the same time makes it clear that it defends all citizens of the country from such insults."

 However it is a statement that is put away in some desk drawer in the office of communication to be pulled out every time there is an anti-Semitic incident. It doesn't seem to matter whether the cause is simple vandalism in a Jewish cemetery, some insulting words directed against the Chief Rabbi, or in this case the horrendous suggestion of making lists of Hungarian Jews. Sharp-eyed journalists and bloggers dug up earlier government statements on anti-Semitism and these statements are practically copied from each other without any alteration. There is an amusing comparison of three recent government statements on anti-Semitisim in K. Funky's blog.

"I am a Holocaust survivor," said Gusztáv Zoltai, executive director of the Hungarian Jewish Congregations' Association. "For people like me this generates raw fear, even though it is clear that this only serves political ends. This is the shame of Europe, the shame of the world."

"Jobbik has moved from representing medieval superstition (of the blood libel) to openly Nazi ideologies," wrote Slomó Köves, chief rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation, referring to the fact that Jobbik's anti-Semitic discourse often evokes a centuries-old blood libel - the accusation that Jews used Christians' blood in religious rituals.

Source: Reuters, Hungarian Spectrum

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 09:11

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