Often, we hear hear people talk about the destruction of the Nazis after World War Two as if it were an end to evil. Although Hitler is dead and his armies crushed, we must still wonder if Fascism was truly defeated. Today, Marton Gyongyosi, a leader of Hungary’s third-largest political party, Jobbik, called for the Hungarian Government to establish a list of Jews who pose a “national security risk.”
The parallels to the rise of the Nazis in Germany are frightening. More than half a million Hungarian Jews were killed during the Holocaust of World War Two and survivors remember the horror. Gusztav Zoltai, executive director of the Hungarian Jewish Congregations’ Association, spoke about his reaction to the words of hate spoken by members of the Jobbik Party.
“I am a Holocaust survivor. For people like me this generates raw fear, even though it is clear that this only serves political ends. This is the shame of Europe, the shame of the world.”
Jobbik is much more than a handful of haters marching in the streets with swastika banners. Jobbik has thousands of members and holds 44 of 386 seats in the Hungarian Parliament. The far-right party maintains the balance of power in the European nation’s government as support for the ruling Fidesz Party continues to decline.
Gyongyosi, 35, is the foreign policy official for Jobbik. His father was a diplomat in Egypt, Iraq and Afghanistan, and Marton Gyongyosi’s office is decorated with Iranian and Turkish memorabilia. His party has been accused of spreading slander and Blood Libel against Jews and Roma citizens of Hungary. The latest outburst began with the following statement in a video posted on Gyongyosi’s website:
“I know how many people with Hungarian ancestry live in Israel, and how many Israeli Jews live in Hungary. I think such a conflict makes it timely to tally up people of Jewish ancestry who live here, especially in the Hungarian Parliament and the Hungarian government, who, indeed, pose a national security risk to Hungary.”
Condemnation of hateful rhetoric was swift. Leaders throughout Hungary, Europe and Israel universally condemned the antisemitism of Mr. Gyongyosi and the Jobbik Party. Hungarian Ambasador to Israel, Zoltan Szentgyorgyi, spoke for his nation and assured the Jewish citizens of Hungary they are not in danger:
“As a Hungarian patriot, my goal is to live in a country where communities can live according to their culture and tradition, and would like to raise my children in such a place.”
Calls have also gone out to silence and ban the Jobbik party. This is not the solution to hatred. Silencing people will never prevent the prejudice they hold in their hearts and minds, We must let the haters speak and respond with stronger words and actions to build a better, peaceful world.