Hungary politician wants list of Jews


Members of Munich's Jewish community bring the Torah scroll to the new synagogue in Munich, southern Germany, ahead of its official inauguration on Nov. 9, 2006, 68 years to the day after a Nazi mob destroyed Munich's main synagogue. A new study finds high levels of anti-Semitism in mainstream German culture.


Joerg Koch

A politician in Hungary has demanded a list of Jews. Looks like someone needs a history lesson. 

Marton Gyongyosi, leader of Hungary's far right Jobbik party, asked the Hungarian government for a list of Jews, because he just wants to make sure there aren't any Jews who pose a "national security risk," Radio Free Europe reported.

Gyongyosi leads Jobbik's foreign policy cabinet. His comments came amid government discussions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "I know how many people with Hungarian ancestry live in Israel, and how many Israeli Jews live in Hungary," he said in a video posted online, viewed by Reuters. "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."

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Holocaust survivors were horrified by his comments. As Reuters notes, between 500,000 and 600,000 Hungarian Jews died in the genocide. 

The Hungarian government has apologized for Gyngyosi's remarks. "The Government takes the strictest possible action against every form of racism and anti-Semitic behavior and does everything in order to ensure that malicious voices incompatible with European norms are driven back," says a Government press release.

Today Gyongyosi joined in the condemnation and said he regretted his remarks too, Politics.Hu reported. However, in an ill-advised turn, he also explained that his comments had only applied to those holding dual Hungarian-Israeli citizenship. It's not the first time that the Jobbik party has warned people about Israelis. Last week, Jobbik President Gabor Vona said that government members should be screened to see if they have Israeli citizenship, according to Politics.Hu.