Hungarian MP Marton Gyongyosi has been condemned for reportedly calling for a survey to count the number of Jews in Hungary, especially in parliament and government, “because they pose a security threat”.
The deputy, from the right wing Jobbik party, is said to have made the remarks on Monday during a debate on the Middle East in the Hungarian parliament.
Jobbik is the third largest block from Hungary in the European parliament with three MEPs, having attained almost 15 per cent of the vote in European elections in 2009.
The national parliamentarian was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday but his alleged comments drew an angry response from European Jewish Congress president Moshe Kantor.
He demanded that colleagues from his party in the European parliament join him and others in denouncing his comments.
He said, “This suggestion is reminiscent of the “selection” which took place in Nazi concentration camps where people would be divided into the desirable and the less desirable who should be dispensed with because they were a threat.
“This has broken all lows for the Jobbik party and their party should be shunned in Hungary and proscribed in parliament where they have representation.”
He added, “After Gyongyosi’s remarks, none of the Hungarian MPs left the chamber in Budapest in protest, the speaker of the House did not mute his microphone and did not discipline him either. In fact, his remarks received a gentle applause.
“These 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.”
Kantor said the alleged comments should provoke “outrage” from senior Hungarian and EU officials, adding, “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.”
The MP belongs to the Jobbik Movement for a Better Hungary which is no stranger to controversy.
The party currently holds 47 seats in the Hungarian parliament having received more than 12 per cent of the vote in national elections in 2010.
In April this year, Jobbik MP Barath Zsolt alleged a cover-up of an infamous late 19th century ‘blood libel’ in Tiszaeszlár during a parliamentary debate.
Zsolt directly accused Jews of killing a girl in the town and blamed “external pressure” on the judge for the “cover-up”.
A spokesman for the Brussels-based European Jewish Congress said, “The Jobbik party continually make anti-Semitic and racist speeches in the Hungarian parliament as well as organise military-style marches in Roma communities.
“They engage in regular Holocaust denial, bring up 19th century blood libels – the lot. They are probably the closest we have anywhere in Europe to a neo-Nazi group represented in a parliament within the EU. There are 47 of them in the Hungarian parliament.
“They are also the third largest Hungarian party bloc in the European parliament with three MEPs.
“Yesterday, 24 hours after the speech, many criticised him. From our perspective, he should have been thrown out of the chamber immediately and told not to come back.
“It’s a disgrace for Hungary that Jobbik are in their parliament and it’s a disgrace for the European parliament that they are here in Brussels as well,” he added.