A growing menace in Hungary sounds all too familiar, all too anti-Semitic.

The Jobbik Party preaches hate in Hungary. Photo courtesy of EuroNews.
The Jobbik Party preaches hate in Hungary. Photo courtesy of EuroNews.

All too reminiscent of the German Nazi party in the 1930s, a growing menace in Hungary is the rise of the Jobbik Party.  Its advocacy of zenophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, and demands of “territorial autonomy” for the Szekely Land in Romania and to make Transcarpathian Ukraine an independent Hungarian district create a political situation in Hungary nothing short of scary.  Is the world looking at another Holocaust?

Why now?

Parroting Hitlerisms, the party blames Hungary’s failing economy on the Jews. Jobbiks spurn global capitalism and the European Union.

In a few short years starting in 2008, the Jobbik party has been founded and risen to be the third largest political party in Hungary.  Propaganda of the party excretes such principles as conservativism, protection of “Hungarian values and interests,” and “a radically patriotic Christian party.”

On the other hand, world media outlets have labeled the Jobbiks as “Neo-Nazi,”  “racist,”  “anti-Semitic,”  “neo-fascist,”  “anti-Roma,” and “homophobic.”

When the World Jewish Congress chose to hold its conference this May 4, 2013, in Budapest, Gabor Vona, Jobbik party chairman, protested, “The Israeli conquerors, these investors, should look for another country in the world for themselves because Hungary is not for sale.”

Already Jewish cemeteries and Holocaust memorials have been desecrated.  Statues of General Horty, who aided the Nazis in the ethnic cleansing of Hungary during WWII, have been erected.  The Jobbiks have demanded the compilation of a list of Jews who serve in public offices.  According to Jobbik member Marton Gyongyosi, “…all dangerous Jews who are posing a threat to Hungarian national security” would be included.

Approximately 100,000 Jews live in Hungary and comprise the largest Jewish population in Central Europe.  An estimated 10,000 Hungarians protested the making of the “list.”

In 2009 a poll showed that 43% of Hungary’s population had negative views of Jews.  In 2012 a poll showed 63% held negative views of Jews.  What will the 2015 poll show?  Already a proliferation of anti-Semitic materials are in the media, in the streets, and on the internet. The Jobbik party is profoundly influential. Thirty percent of all propaganda on the Jobbiks’ website is anti-Semitic.

In recent weeks, many Jewish organizations sent a letter to John Kerry pleading with him “to keep the issue of intolerance and discrimination squarely on the U.S.-Hungarian agenda.”

On January  27, 2013,  International Holocaust Memorial Day, Rome dimmed Colosseum lights in protest of Jobbiks’ ultra-nationalism, racism, and anti-Semitism.

But racial profiling continues to grow.  University of Budapest’s student council members constructed lists of students’ presumed religions, and ethnic backgrounds including Jewish origins and political memberships.  Registration of personal  information is forbidden by Hungarian law.  A new Hungarian Jewish watchdog has asked the police to investigate.

The first of five Jobbik politicians elected to mayor Hungarian towns, Erik Fulop has paired his town of Tiszavasvari with the Iranian city of Ardubil.  Marton Gyongyosi, Jobbik party member, stated at a December demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy in Budapest:  “This is why we have solidarity with the peaceful nation of Iran and turn to her with open arms.”  He also is giving lectures across Hungary on the “Zionist threat to world peace.”

Iran, under scrutiny for its nuclear program and terrorism support, looks eagerly to an alliance with the Jobbiks for its super-nationalism and anti-Semitism.

What’s next?  Will the Jobbiks form alliances with Venezuela and Syria?

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffereing and humiliation.  We must take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.  Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.  Elie Wiesel

 

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