Hungary / 08-08-2012
Jobbik MEP meets Rabbi over lawmaker's Jewish roots
Budapest - Csanad Szegedi, the Hungarian MEP for the far right Jobbik party learned last December that he had Jewish roots but that his grandmother survived Auschwitz. Szegedi has withdrawn from his positions in the party after his ancestry came to light and caused a scandal in the party which is often accused of antisemitism and holocaust denial.
The party officials claim that they have no issue with the deputy's ancestors, only that the MEP lied about it, in an attempt to keep it a secret. They have asked Szegedi to resign his European seat, but the deputy has refused to do so.
The far right deputy has promised to visit Auschwitz and has had a meeting with Hungary’s chief orthodox rabbi, Slomo Koves, according to Nepszabadsag newspaper.
“I was stunned,” said the spiritual leader, when asked his reaction to the approach by a Jobbik MEP, “But as a rabbi, it is my duty to receive anybody who requests advice or help,” he said.
The Rabbi had some advice for the deputy after the meeting, “I wish for him that he be able to redeem the past years. He can do that best, if, apart from getting to know his own roots, he does everything in his power to keep others from being led astray, like he had been.”
Szegedialso seemed to be affected by the meeting, telling Nepszabadsag he had told Rabbi Koves, “Had I made any comments in the past years that offended the Jewish community, I ask for forgiveness. Now that I have been faced with my Jewish roots, that I do not regret at all, keeping in touch with the leaders of the Hungarian Jewish community has become especially important for me.”