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April 01, 2014

Antisemitic and Racist Statements by Hungarian Political Leaders

As Hungary’s April 6 Parliamentary elections approach, there are growing concerns about the increase in overt and covert   neo-fascist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Roma rhetoric from the far-right Jobbik and other political parties participating in the elections. The proliferation of such statements by elected officials – sometimes followed by apologies, sometimes not – creates a tolerant climate for hatred, discrimination and violence against Hungarian minorities.  

Here are some of their statements.

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Jobbik Party

“Have you noticed how all the news reports that refer to, and condemn, Jobbik’s supposed ‘rhetoric’ never actually quote any of it, to let you judge it for yourself?”  Source: Jobbik website

Zoltán Fuzessy, Jobbik Spokesman

“We are not racist or Nazi, but there is a problem with the Roma and we need to talk about that.”

               Source: The Telegraph, May 2009

Enikő Hegedűs, Jobbik Member of Parliament*

“Now is the time to finally say: Israeli occupation is ongoing in our homeland. This is a fact, for evidence we need only to think about the overwhelming dominance of Israeli capital investments, property developments in Hungary. And the Gypsy people are a biological weapon of this [Israeli occupation]. They use them as tools against the Hungarian people.” Source: Kuruc.info, May 2011

Márton Gyöngyösi, Jobbik Member of Parliament and Leader of Jobbik’s Foreign Policy Cabinet*

“I think now is the time to assess…how many people of Jewish origin there are here, and especially in the Hungarian parliament and the Hungarian government, who pose a national security risk to Hungary.” Source: Foreign Policy, November 2012

Gábor Vona, Member of Parliament, Jobbik President*

“The Israeli conquerors, these investors, should look for another country in the world for themselves, because Hungary is not for sale.” Source: International Business Times, May 2013

Előd Novák, Jobbik Member of Parliament*

“There are national tendencies, there are greatest tragedies, striking Hungarians the widest, the deepest, and this is Gypsycrime… We need to talk about this, about who is killing Hungarian people, who is stealing their wealth, their crops... We need to talk about this, because these are the real problems.” Source: parlament.hu

Zsolt Bayer, Journalist, Founding Member of Fidesz

“The facts are the following: a sizable part of the Gypsies is not fit for coexistence. Not fit to live amongst people. These segments of Gypsies are animals and behave as animals. They want to [have sex with] whomever they see whenever and wherever. Upon meeting resistance, they kill. They defecate wherever and whenever they have the instinct. Upon feeling hindered in this for whatever reason, they kill. They want to have whatever they see. If they don’t get it instantly, they take it and they kill. These segments of Gypsies are incapable of humanlike communication. Mostly inarticulate noises spout from their animal skulls and the only thing they understand about this miserable world is violence.” Source: Magyar Hírlap, January 2013

Tibor Ágoston, Jobbik Member Debrecen City Council
Running in Hajdú-Bihar 03, 76th on Jobbik list**

"At a [Debrecen district] cultural committee meeting on December 19, 2013 during a presentation of a tender decision, the head of the cultural department said Hungary is preparing for two huge commemoration event in 2014: one is about the Hungarian victims, the heroes, who fell in the [Second World] war, the other is the Holoscam... excuse me, Holo -- caust... still not working, Holocaust. It was intended, excuse me."   Source: YouTube

Official Jobbik Materials

“At the present time a segment of the Gypsy community strive [sic] for neither integration, nor employment, nor education; and wish only that society maintain them through the unconditional provision of state benefits… What is however simply beyond dispute is that certain specific criminological phenomena are predominantly and overwhelmingly associated with this minority, and that as a result such phenomena require the application of fitting and appropriate remedies.”    Source: Radical Change: A guide to Jobbik’s parliamentary electoral manifesto for national self-determination and social justice, 2010

*According to preliminary reports, these candidates were reelected on the Jobbik slate. Final election results will be available on April 12, 2014.

**Under Hungary's new electoral system, candidates can run for parliament both in their own districts and on their party's national list.  Candidates who appear high on the Jobbik Party list are seen as reasonably likely to win a seat in Parliament even if they do not carry their own districts.

For more information, see Human Rights First’s fact sheet: Hungarian Elections and Human Rights, or contact Corinne Duffy at DuffyC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3319.