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Rivlin retracts invite for Hungarian counterpart

June 24, 2012 15:13

László Kövér, who was meant to attend Knesset's Wallenberg memorial, participated in ceremony honoring a Nazi collaborator.

SPEAKER REUVEN Rivlin speaks

REUVEN Rivlin 311. (photo credit:Courtesy of the Knesset)

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin told his Hungarian counterpart that he is no longer welcome in the Knesset next month, following Hungarian National Assembly Speaker László Kövér’s participation in a memorial ceremony for a pro- Nazi author.

Kövér was scheduled to visit the Knesset next month for a ceremony honoring the 100th birthday of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat in Hungary who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust.

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Rivlin wrote the Hungarian speaker a letter on Sunday, saying that he was “appalled by the shocking news” of Kövér’s participation in a memorial for writer Joszef Nyiro, who was a member of the Nazi-sympathizing fascist Arrow Cross party in the Hungarian parliament during World War II.

“You chose to participate in this event and openly declare your solidarity with a person whose party, within the government of Hungary, cooperated with the German Nazi murderers in realizing their program to annihilate the Jewish People,” Rivlin wrote.

Rivlin added, “Anyone who participates in such an event cannot possibly then take part in an event to honor a man like Raoul Wallenberg, a beacon of humanity, who saved Jews, who is a symbol of the struggle against Nazi Germany and its collaborators, one of whom you chose to identify with and pay homage to.”

On Wednesday, the Knesset speaker is set to fly to Germany, where he will meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Joachim Gauck and Bundestag President Norbert Lammert.

Rivlin also plans to visit the House of the Wannsee Conference, as well as Berlin’s Jewish Museum and Holocaust Memorial.
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