Hungarian Secretary Reveals Jewish Roots
Hungarian Secretary of the Development ministry Janos Fonagy told the Hungarian parliament that he was of Jewish ancestry. According to the European Jewish Press, Fonagy’s announcement came as “direct challenge to Jobbik’s 47 parliamentary representatives in the 386-seat chamber.” According to the EJP, Fonagy told Jobbik members, “My mother and father were Jewish, and so am I, whether you like it or not.”
The EJP further reports that he told Jobbik he had been born into his Jewish ancestry and that his heritage was something he could not help. He said that he was not religious and denied having dual citizenship. However, rather than focusing on his own ancestry and actions, Fonagy challenged Jobbik. According to the EJP he told the party that while he could not choose his ancestry, “You can choose, and you have chosen this path Fonagy also warned that history would judge Jobbik for its actions.
While Hungary has faced several anti-Semitic incidents this year, many coming from Jobbik, The Jerusalem Post reports that Hungarians are now “facing down extremism.” It reports that Hungarian Jews have only recently become less cautious about revealing their heritage, but, now that they have found a voice, they are challenging those who have tried to silence them.
Indeed, The Post quotes Vera Vadas, the director of the Jewish Summer Festival as saying, “Even 15 years ago, using ‘Jewish’ as a brand required quite some bravery.” Now, however, Vadas says, “The word just describes our culture and it draws artists and audiences alike.”
According to The Post, Vadas says that the Sumer Festival drew in 3,000 when it first began and now, nearly 15 years later, the number of visitors has increased to an estimated 120,000.
Hungarians have also marched in the streets to protests Jobbik’s anti-Semitic gestures and proposed legislation. According to MTI, “thousands” protested after Jobbik after one of the party’s MPs, Marton Gyongyosi suggested that Jewish lawmakers should know register as such. He later said that he only meant that those with dual citizenship should have to register, so that parliament would know where their loyalties were. According to MTI, The Democratic Coalition sought to ban Jobbik from parliament and to disallow it as a political party.
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About the Author: Miranda has a B.A. in political science and has worked over a decade as a news reporter, financial news writer and political blogger. More about Miranda