Hungarian Politician Calls for Registration of Jews

On Monday, Hungarian Member of Parliament Marton Gyongyosi called for the creation of a list registering all Hungarian Jews, with a focus on registering Jewish politicians and those of Israeli descent. He explained away his actions by deeming Hungarian Jews a national security risk. Gyongyosi has now made international headlines for his blatantly anti-Semitic remarks, which were eerily reminiscent of Nazi rhetoric.

Gyongyosi’s comments came in response to Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, which he claimed  “makes it timely to tally up people of Jewish Ancestry who live here, especially in the Hungarian Parliament and the Hungarian government, who pose a national security risk to Hungary.”  Attempting to clarify his remarks, Gyongyosi said that he was referring only to Hungarians with Israeli passports. Such anti-Semitic remarks follow a long history of anti-Semitism propagated by Gyongyosi’s Jobbik Party. The third-largest party in the Hungarian Parliament, Jobbik is also known for its anti-Roma and anti-homosexual history. The Jobbik party also made the news in August when its leader, Csanad Szegedi, was forced to resign from the anti-Semitic party after finding out that he was of Jewish origin.

Donning yellow stars on their chests, hundreds of protesters rallied outside of the Hungarian Parliament on Tuesday.  Although Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s center-right government condemned Gyongyosi’s remarks, Jerusalem’s Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized the fact that the condemnation took 16 hours.

In the past few months, anti-Semitism in France made headline news, and the RACblog covered hate-crimes targeting Jews in Sweden. The prevalence of anti-Semitism in Europe is cause for concern. It is crucial that the international community condemn such acts of hate.

 

Image courtesy of Reuters