'National security risk': Far-right leader pushes Hungary to draw up list of Jews
BUDAPEST, Hungary -- A Hungarian far-right politician urged the government to draw up a list 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.
Attila Kovacs / EPA
Deputy leader of Hungary's far-right Jobbik party Marton Gyongyosi delivers a speech in Budapest on Tuesday.
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.
Jobbik has never called publicly for lists of Jews.
"I am a Holocaust survivor," said Gusztav 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."
Between 500,000 and 600,000 Hungarian Jews died in the Holocaust, according to the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest. According to some accounts, one in three Jews killed in Auschwitz were Hungarian nationals.
Gyongyosi's call came after Foreign Ministry State Secretary Zsolt Nemeth said Budapest favored a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as benefiting both Israelis with Hungarian ancestry, Hungarian Jews and Palestinians in Hungary.["Palestinians" in Hungary? How many "Palestinian" Arabs, how many other Arabs, how many Muslims, has Hungary foolishly allowed to settle within its borders?]
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 Monday.
"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." [now why is that?]
Gyongyosi, 35, 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. He graduated with a degree in business and political science from Trinity College in Dublin in 2000. [Did he take his clothes to be cleaned at The Swastika And Bells? Or did his Trinity Colletge stay possibly prompt a wish to elicit a Book of Kvells?]
He worked for four years at the Dublin office of KPMG, then returned to Budapest in 2005. He has been active in Jobbik since 2006 and became their representative in parliament in 2010.