Hungarian lawmaker proposes ‘registering’ Jewish lawmakers


BUDAPEST (JTA) — A far-right Hungarian lawmaker suggested that members of the Hungarian Parliament who are Jewish or of Jewish origin be counted and registered.

Marton Gyongyosi of the ultranationalist Jobbik party made the suggestion Monday in a Parliament session during a discussion of the recent conflict in Gaza "in order to avoid the national security risk caused by the Jews,” he said. Gyongyosi also proposed taking a census of Jews in the country.

His suggestion received "gentle applause," according to a statement issued by the European Jewish Congress.  

Opposition parties in Parliament on television interviews called for the dissolution of Jobbik in the wake of Gyongyosi’s statement, though they offered no reaction during the Parliament meeting.  

Foreign State Undersecretary Zsolt Nemethsaid said during the session that he cannot support such "research," adding  that "there is no relationship between the number of Jewish origin members of the Hungarian government and the grave conflict in the Middle East.”

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor said the remarks present "an important challenge" for the Hungarian and European Parliament.

"Either they place boundaries on hate speech and incitement to violence within representative parties in their parliaments or it will lose its moral compass,” he said. “We demand outrage from senior Hungarian and European Union officials after these comments. Refraining from a wide-scale outrage will leave the Jewish community feeling there is acquiescence that this constitutes acceptable speech and parliamentary conduct.

“The increase in physical attacks on Jews in Hungary, we believe, is directly related to not only the rise of Jobbik, but also the lack of condemnation for their statements and actions.”

During the government’s session, Gyongyosi asked the prime minister why the Hungarian Foreign Ministry sided with Israel in the Gaza conflict instead of the Palestinians.

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