Hungarians protest 370.
(photo credit: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters)
Thousands of people turned out for a political rally in front of Budapest’s
parliament building on Sunday afternoon to demonstrate against the far-Right
Last week, Jobbik’s deputy leader Marton Gyongyosi said in
the Hungarian parliament that a list should be drawn up of Jews in Hungary,
especially those in parliament and the Hungarian government, “who pose a
national security risk to Hungary.”
Several senior Hungarian politicians
spoke during Sunday’s rally, including Antal Rogan, the parliamentary faction
leader of the ruling Fidesz party.
Addressing the huge crowd, Rogan
declared that genocide always begins with lists, and said that it is
unacceptable not to learn from the past 100 years of history, Hungary’s ATV
television channel reported.
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon
Wiesenthal Center in Israel, said that demonstration was an “appropriate
response to the outrageous anti-Semitic and anti-Roma [Gypsy] incitement by the
Jobbik party and Gyongyosi’s speech,” and that the rally was a “positive way of
delegitimizing the party’s hatred.”
“The Jobbik party speaks in terms
which should be unacceptable in the EU and in Hungary,” Zuroff said. “They are a
poster-boy for the new anti-Semitism, which combines old hatred of Jews with the
hatred of Israel.”
Zuroff also commented that the party should serve as
an example of what can go wrong with “the right-hand side of the political map
when economic crises strike.”
In addition, deputy Jobbik chairman and
Hungarian MP Elod Novak demanded that a fellow lawmaker resign because she has
Israeli citizenship, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on
According to JTA, Novak said during a news conference on Thursday
that Katalin Ertsey of the liberal LMP Party should step down because she holds
an Israeli passport in addition to her Hungarian one.
Jobbik is a fierce
critic of Israel and has expressed solidarity with the Palestinians and Iran,
against what it calls “Israeli aggression.”
The party is also accused of
anti-Roma incitement, and exploiting the negative feelings towards Hungary’s
Roma minority is a central feature of the party’s political focus.