Hungarian political leader questions Holocaust, slams Israel


(JTA) — A leader of Hungary’s far-right, anti-Semitic Jobbik Party questioned the Holocaust, claimed that Jews were colonizing Hungary and that Israel runs "a Nazi system."

Marton Gyongyosi, deputy leader and foreign affairs spokesman for Hungary’s third largest party, also said in an interview with Britain’s Jewish Chronicle published Feb. 2 that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is a "Nazi system."

Jobbik holds 47 seats in the 386-seat Hungarian legislature and, according to the Chronicle, is set to capitalize on Hungary’s severe economic downturn.

In the Jewish Chronicle interview, Gyongyosi questioned whether 400,000 Jews were killed or deported from Hungary during World War II.

"It has become a fantastic business to jiggle around with the numbers," he said.

Gyongyosi called successful Israeli businesses in Hungary a threat and "expansionism."

"Jews are looking to build outside of Israel. There is a kind of expansionism in their behavior," he said.

Gyongyosi indicated that a 2007 speech by Israeli President Shimon Peres, in which he praised the success of Israeli businesses in the Diaspora, including Hungary, was a threat to his country, saying that "If Peres is supporting colonization, it is a natural reaction for people to feel that Jews are not welcome here."

Gyongyosi said Israel was founded by "terrorists" and that it runs a "Nazi system based on racial hatred. Look at [Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor] Lieberman, he’s no different than Goebbels. He is a pure Nazi."

The Jobbik leader also said his party supports Iran.

"Iran is in the center of a Middle East axis that Israel and the U.S. want to subjugate and keep under their control," Gyongyosi told the Chronicle. "Iran is an extremely peaceful country and never started a war, unlike Israel which has declared wars on anything and everybody around it."

Recommended from JTA