Hungarians vented their outrage this week over how opposition party Jobbik has harmed our nation, said Tamas Stark. Thousands marched through Budapest to protest Jobbik member of parliament Marton Gyongyosi’s call for drawing up a list of Jewish Hungarians as potential national security risks. After hearing the full-throated outcry at home and abroad over his initiative, Gyongyosi claimed he’d made “a slip of the tongue.” But that’s patently false: “Anti-Jewish rhetoric is an integral part of Jobbik,” Hungary’s third-largest party, which received 17 percent of the vote in the last parliamentary elections, in 2010. With its ham-handed attempts to revive the traditions of the pro-Nazi Horthy regime, Jobbik has done “a great service to those out to discredit Hungary.” This party paints itself as a peerless defender of our national interests, but it has managed only to undermine them. Now nationalists in neighboring Slovakia, Romania, and Serbia can say they’re only following Jobbik’s lead when they question the loyalty of Hungarian ethnic minorities. Hungary has fought hard in the past 20 years to restore “the traditional Western orientation” it was forced to abandon during decades of communism. By threatening that progress with its shameful targeting of Hungarian Jews, Jobbik is “guilty of treason.”
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