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Press Release

ADL Calls On Hungarian Government To Take Action Against Anti-Semitic Comments In Parliament

New York, NY, November 28, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the Government of Hungary to go beyond condemnations and take action in response to anti-Semitic comments made in Parliament.

In the most recent example, MP Márton Gyöngyösi of the neo-Nazi Jobbik party said during a parliamentary debate on Hungary’s Middle East Policy that “it is high time to assess how many MPs and government members are of Jewish origin and who present a national security risk to Hungary.”

ADL commended the Hungarian government’s condemnation of this comment, but urged it to demonstrate its claim of “taking the strictest measures possible to combat racism and anti-Semitic behavior” included in the government’s statement.

In a letter to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, ADL noted that Parliament Speaker László Kövér from Mr. Orban’s Fidesz party has announced his intention to change the rules of the parliament to punish MPs for racist statements, but that such promises had been made in the past.

Mr. Kövér made a similar statement in July 2011, following an anti-Semitic comment by Jobbik MP Előd Novák. Relating to the same incident, Fidesz caucus leader János Lázár had stated that the government would introduce legislation to punish racist speech in parliament.

“Since no action was taken at the time on either approach, Jobbik MP Zsolt Barath’s blood libel in parliament in April of this year and Mr. Gyöngyösi’s anti-Semitic remark of yesterday were condemned, but went unpunished,” wrote Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “We look forward to the possible ways in which Hungary might take action against manifestations of anti-Semitism and racism in fulfillment of their public response to do so.”

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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Update

(12/21/12) ADL welcomed Hungary's approval of an amendment laying the groundwork to hold members of its parliament accountable for hate speech. Read more.

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