Jobbik chief challenges rabbi to debate in Hungary

(JTA) – Days after one of his colleagues admitted to having Jewish roots, a far-right Hungarian politician challenged a rabbi in the country to a debate.

Gabor Vona, the leader of the Hungarian nationalist party Jobbik, said he wants to show Shlomo Koves, a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi who heads the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation, that Jobbik is not anti-Semitic. Koves’ group is one of three Jewish streams officially recognized by the state

“Jobbik has never had and will never have any program point, proposal or idea which discriminates between Hungary’s inhabitants on the grounds of ethnicity and religion,” Vona told the website Politics.hu.

Jobbik members have used anti-Semitic rhetoric repeatedly in the past. Politics.hu reported that Koves wants to organize Jews and other Hungarians to combat anti-Semitism.

Last week, a regional leader of Jobbik, Csanad Szegedi, revealed that he is of Jewish descent.

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