Shalom Life | December 21, 2014

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.

VICE Journalists Join the IDF on their Mission to Support Syrian Rebels [VIDEO] VICE Journalists Join the IDF on their Mission to Support Syrian Rebels [VIDEO] TrendingOf Course There's Gay Erotic Hanukkah Fiction Of Course There's Gay Erotic Hanukkah Fiction TrendingSomeone Made a Remix of Sia's "Chandelier" Featuring Vocals From Benjamin Netanyahu Someone Made a Remix of Sia's "Chandelier" Featuring Vocals From Benjamin Netanyahu Trending
 

Top 50 Hottest Jewish Women of 2014 (30-21)

December 19, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Top 50 Hottest Jewish Women of 2014 (30-21)

Join Shalom Life in celebrating the 50 most talented, intelligent, funny, and beautiful Jewish women of the year.

Read More

Analyst Suggests Qatar 'Give' World Cup 2022 to Gaza

December 19, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Analyst Suggests Qatar 'Give' World Cup 2022 to Gaza

Tom Gross argues that the move would be beneficial for Palestinians in Israel

Read More

Natalie Portman Explains How 'Star Wars' Almost Ruined Her Career

December 19, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Natalie Portman Explains How 'Star Wars' Almost Ruined Her Career

The 'Black Swan' actress says no one wanted to work with her after 'Star Wars'

Read More

Liberace's Hologram to Go On World Tour, Starting in Las Vegas

December 19, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Liberace's Hologram to Go On World Tour, Starting in Las Vegas

The deceased performer will be entertaining a whole new generation of fans.

Read More

Adam Levine's Maroon 5 Rock Out at The People Magazine Awards [VIDEO]

December 19, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Adam Levine's Maroon 5 Rock Out at The People Magazine Awards [VIDEO]

On Thursday evening, Maroon 5 wowed the audience with a live performance of 'Animals'

Read More

Oops! Drake Confused Adam Silver for Donald Sterling

December 19, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Oops! Drake Confused Adam Silver for Donald Sterling

At the Toronto Raptors Drake night, Drake mixed up some important names.

Read More

Ambassador Dan Shapiro Urges U.S. Collaboration with Jerusalem College of Technology

December 19, 2014 | By ShalomLife Team
Ambassador Dan Shapiro Urges U.S. Collaboration with Jerusalem College of Technology

Shapiro visited the college for a private demonstration of several ground-breaking technologies developed by students

Read More

This British Politician Is Trying to Put an End to Racism & anti-Semitism on Twitter

December 19, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
This British Politician Is Trying to Put an End to Racism & anti-Semitism on Twitter

Luciana Berger, the subject of some 2,500 anti-Semitic tweets earlier this year, wants the platform to ban racist words

Read More

More Headlines