Shalom Life | February 28, 2015

Anti-Semitic Hungarian Politician Discovers Jewish Roots

Far-right party leader resigns amid controversy

By: Sammy Hudes

Published: August 15th, 2012 in News » World

Anti-Semitic Hungarian Politician Discovers Jewish Roots

The anti-Semitic leader of Hungary’s far-right Jobbik Party has resigned upon learning that he is Jewish himself, according to the Associated Press.

Csanad Szegedi, an ultra-nationalist politician who is notoriously known for his provocative comments toward Jews, acknowledged in June that his maternal grandparents were Jewish, making him a Jew according to Halakha.

His grandmother was even revealed to be an Auschwitz survivor while his grandfather was a veteran of forced labour camps.

In the past, the 30-year-old has publicly accused Jews of “buying up” the country and desecrating national symbols, while also complaining about the “Jewishness” of the political elite.

An audio tape from 2010 has recently been discovered in which Szegedi and a convicted felon, Zoltan Ambrus, are heard discussing the politician’s Jewish heritage.

During the meeting, which Szegedi acknowledges took place, Ambrus confronts him about his Jewish roots with documents that apparently prove it, and after sounding surprised at first, Szegedi offers money and favours, such as EU funds and a possible EU job, in order for the felon to keep the information a secret.

Ambrus, who served time in prison on a weapons and explosives conviction, reportedly rejected the bribes. He said he secretly taped the conversation as part of an internal Jobbik power struggle aimed at ousting Szegedi from his post as the party’s leader.

According to Szegedi, the tape was altered to make him look bad.

But after the tape was made public, Szegedi became an outcast in the Jobbik Party and resigned last month from all party positions, giving up his Jobbik membership.

The party has also asked him to give up his seat in the European Parliament as well, as Jobbik cites Szegedi’s alleged bribery as the reason behind the request, rather than his Judaism.

“We have no alternative but to ask him to return his EU mandate,” said Jobbik president Gabor Vona. “Jobbik does not investigate the heritage of its members or leadership, but instead takes into consideration what they have done for the nation.”

Szegedi has served in the European Parliament in Brussels as one of the party’s three EU lawmakers since 2009.

He gained prominence in 2007 as a founding member of the Hungarian Guard, a group whose black uniforms and striped flags were reminiscent of the Arrow Cross, a pro-Nazi party which briefly governed Hungary at the end of World War II and killed thousands of Jews.

The group was banned by the courts in 2009, but Szegedi had by then joined the Jobbik Party, which was launched in 2003 to become the country's biggest far-right political force.

After discovering he was Jewish, Szegedi met with Rabbi Slomo Koves, of Hungary's Orthodox Chabad-Lubavitch community earlier this month.

“As a rabbi ... it is my duty to receive every person who is in a situation of crisis and especially a Jew who has just now faced his heritage,” said Koves.

During the meeting, Szegedi apologized for any of his past statements deemed offensive to the Jewish community and vowed to visit Auschwitz to pay his respects.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Spock. You Will Be Dearly Missed Rest in Peace, Mr. Spock. You Will Be Dearly Missed TrendingMadonna: Europe Feels like "Nazi Germany" Madonna: Europe Feels like "Nazi Germany" TrendingAn Open Letter to Banksy: Even Without Mentioning Israel, Your New Gaza 'Ad' Still Reeks of anti-Zionism An Open Letter to Banksy: Even Without Mentioning Israel, Your New Gaza 'Ad' Still Reeks of anti-Zionism Trending
 

Rest in Peace, Mr. Spock. You Will Be Dearly Missed

February 27, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Rest in Peace, Mr. Spock. You Will Be Dearly Missed

Leonard Nimoy, actor, director, writer, musician, painter, and pop culture icon, dies at 83

Read More

Madonna’s Israeli Hacker Has Been Indicted

February 27, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Madonna’s Israeli Hacker Has Been Indicted

Adi Lederman has been officially charged on four counts including computer trespassing.

Read More

'Clueless' Soundtrack to be Released as Yellow and Black Plaid Vinyl

February 27, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
'Clueless' Soundtrack to be Released as Yellow and Black Plaid Vinyl

The seminal 90's soundtrack is being re-released for the film's 20th anniversary

Read More

Justin Bieber Begs Seth Rogen to Roast Him

February 27, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Justin Bieber Begs Seth Rogen to Roast Him

The pop singer reaches out to Rogen via Twitter in hopes he'll appear on his upcoming Comedy Central special.

Read More

Israeli Doctor Resorts to Crowdfunding to Treat Three-Year-Old Girl's Disease

February 27, 2015 | By NoCamels Team
Israeli Doctor Resorts to Crowdfunding to Treat Three-Year-Old Girl's Disease

Due to high expenses, Dr. Shomron sought to raise necessary funds for his patient from individual donors over the Internet

Read More

Madonna: Europe Feels like "Nazi Germany"

February 27, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Madonna: Europe Feels like "Nazi Germany"

"anti-Semitism is at an all time high" says the acclaimed singer/songwriter

Read More

Israeli Teen Wins First Round of European Chess Championship

February 27, 2015 | By Roi Yanovsky
Israeli Teen Wins First Round of European Chess Championship

17-year-old Itay Westreich beats current Israeli champion Victor Mikhalevski in first round of championship in Jerusalem

Read More

Organizers Halt Tel Aviv Marathon Due to Heat

February 27, 2015 | By Shahar Hay
Organizers Halt Tel Aviv Marathon Due to Heat

Two men participating in annual run lose consciousness due to heat stroke, both under sedation and ventilated; 75 others treated on scene; major streets closed off in Tel Aviv

Read More

More Headlines