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Budapest U. suspends student council over suspected listing of Jews

BUDAPEST, Hungary (JTA) — The rector of the University of Budapest suspended a student council for its suspected listing of Jews and other minorities.

Barna Mezey on Feb. 21 ordered the HOK student council of the humanities to cease its activities following reports that its members compiled illegal lists on freshmen containing personal information on presumed ethnic background and political affiliation, the ATV television channel reported.

Mezey ordered that the matter be reported to the police, ATV said.

ATV said it had obtained a 2009 list classifying several students as Jews. HOK leader Adam Garbai told two Hungarian newspapers that the ATV report is baseless.

Separately, a Hungarian nationalist politician who called for the listing of Jews as a potential risk said Israel’s ban on dual-citizen lawmakers was proving his point.

Marton Gyongyosi, the deputy leader of the radical right Jobbik party, on Feb. 19 told the local news agency MTI that the Israeli ban “shows that in Israel holding dual citizenship for a member of parliament is automatically recognized as a security risk.”

He was reacting to news that seven elected Israeli representatives with dual citizenship had to give them up before taking an oath to become lawmakers.

Gyongyosi caused an international outcry late last year when he said in Hungarian parliament in November, “Now is the time to assess … how many people of Jewish origin there are here, and especially in the Hungarian parliament and the Hungarian government, who represent a certain national security risk for Hungary."

He later backtracked from his statement, which evoked memories of Holocaust-era indexing, saying he only meant Israeli dual citizens.

“I apologize to my Jewish compatriots for my equivocal statement,” he said.

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