A storm over apparent anti-Semitic remarks in Hungary’s parliament continued unabated Thursday, as a far-right Jobbik deputy called publicly for the resignation of a fellow MP who claimed to have Israeli citizenship.
At a press conference, Jobbik deputy Elod Novak said it was unacceptable that Katalin Ertsey, a deputy of the small opposition party LMP, had kept her dual Hungarian-Israeli citizenship secret and called for her resignation.
He later told news portal Index, “Israel has more deputies in the Hungarian parliament than they have in the Israeli Knesset.”
This was why the Hungarian parliament made so many decisions that were favorable to the Israel, he added, without however giving any examples.
Jobbik has long been critical of the government’s stance, saying it sides too much with Israel.
But Novak’s comments came in the wake of remarks by fellow Jobbik deputy Marton Gyongyosi who, during a parliamentary debate on Monday on the recent conflict in Gaza, proposed drawing up a list of people in the country “to see how many are of Jewish origin and present a certain national security risk to Hungary.”
He later apologized to his “Jewish compatriots,” saying he meant only those with dual Hungarian-Israeli citizenship.
Following this, Novak sent an email to all deputies Wednesday requesting they make any dual citizenship public, in the public interest.
Ertsey replied that she was an Israeli citizen and had bought her Hungarian citizenship, prompting Novak’s call for her resignation.
Ertsey later said she was in fact a Hungarian citizen but that her response had been intended as sarcastic to show the absurdity of Novak’s question.
According to Attila Peterfalvi, president of the National Data Protection and Freedom of Information Authority, an MP’s dual citizenship is in the public domain but not what their other nationality is.
Having to declare that would be a “violation of human dignity,” he said.
Gyongyosi’s remarks Monday already met with widespread condemnation from politicians, while one prominent Jewish organization said it would file charges against him.
The government was criticized for its slow response but issued a statement the next day condemning “all forms or expressions of extremism, racist or anti-Semitic.”
Jewish organizations have organized a mass protest against Nazism outside parliament on Sunday with politicians from across the political spectrum, including the ruling Fidesz party, expected to speak.
Jobbik responded in a statement Thursday that it found it “pathetic” that “the government parties have bowed to pressure and are taking part in a united grand coalition of the left-wing.”
Source: Ynet News