The president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) expressed concern over signs that members of Hungary’s opposition parties were considering teaming up with nationalist opposition party Jobbik. In a statement published on WJC’s website, Ronald S Lauder said recent reports had suggested that Hungarian opposition party members “have been willing to entertain the possibility of alliances with the extremist Jobbik party”.
Having visited Hungary to assess the situation, Lauder was “dismayed to find that they are entirely true”. “A few short years ago, Jobbik rose to prominence openly utilizing antisemitic, racist and xenophobic rhetoric and ideology,” Lauder said. “Party members and leaders have since repeatedly been mired in controversy over their hateful antisemitic statements and actions,” he added.
Lauder dismissed the party’s more recent move towards the centre of politics.
“Despite recent rebranding attempts, Jobbik has not done nearly enough in terms of concrete actions to distance itself from its antisemitic roots, or to stem the continued flow of antisemitism and racism still reportedly emanating from local Jobbik cells,” he said, calling on Jobbik to “credibly demonstrate that it opposes antisemitism and racism”.
Until this happens, Hungarian lawmakers and the international community should treat the party as “an outcast not worthy of alliance”. “Until these changes come about, it is dangerous for any Hungarian political party to do business with the extremist Jobbik party or to allow Jobbik into the mainstream of Hungarian politics,” Lauder added.