Leading Orthodox rabbi defends Gorka against 'Forward' coverage

"When segments of the Hungarian Right began expressing antisemitism, Gorka fought them in ways that ended his political career in the country."

May 7, 2017 05:17
1 minute read.
Sebastian Gorka

Sebastian Gorka. (photo credit: GAGE SKIDMORE,Wikimedia Commons)


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A former head of the Rabbinical Council of America is questioning media criticism of US President Donald Trump's foreign policy adviser, Sebastian Gorka, for his reported ties to proto-fascist organizations in Hungary.

Gorka— who will address The Jerusalem Post's annual conference in New York on Sunday— has lifelong connections with Vitézi Rend, a neo-Nazi group, according to The Forward newspaper.

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He has also defended on camera the actions of the Hungarian Guard, a militia of the nation's far-right Jobbik Party, itself accused of neo-Nazism.

Gorka and the White House have dismissed attempts to associate him with these groups as a political smear loosely grounded in facts. So too has Heshie Billet, the former rabbinical council head and a leading Orthodox voice.

"When segments of the Hungarian Right began expressing antisemitism, Gorka fought them in ways that ended his political career in the country," Billet wrote this week in Algemeiner.

"My investigation into Gorka taught me that he is (at least) a third generation of his family to take personal risks on behalf of freedom and behalf of Jews."

Several American Jewish organizations have called for Gorka's resignation, based on reporting by The Forward.

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