Parliamentary Speaker László Kövér said he plan to introduce strict sanctions against lawmakers who use expressions during sessions which harm the dignity of Jewish or Roma people. He made the decision after a lengthy argument between Fidesz and Jobbik following a comment by Jobbik MP Előd Novák’s during the final debate of the bill on churches in Parliament on July 11.
Novák caused a stir by exclaiming “what else could be expected” from National Development State Secretary János Fónagy than to propose acknowledging the Sim Shalom Progressive Jewish Congregation as an established church.
Fidesz caucus leader János Lázár asked Novák to apologize, which he declined to do.
Fónagy then said he did not expect Novák to apologize, as the Jobbik politician only said the same thing his “spiritual role models” had said. The state secretary added the reason there were few people in the Dohány utca synagogue was that there were 600,000 people missing from the country, as Novák’s “spiritual role models created this situation there.” Fónagy asked the Jobbik MP not to blame the Jewish community for being small.
Jobbik caucus leader Gábor Vona said Novák’s comments were “excusable” in the heat of the debate, as was Fónagy’s comment when he called the 850,000 voters of Jobbik “descendants of murderers.” He then said that Lázár’s request for an apology was “Pharisee behavior.”
Lázár responded by saying the government would create legal means to “once and for all” stop Jobbik MPs using the words “Jewish” and “Gypsy” in a derogatory sense in Parliament.
Reacting to the news about the planned sanctions, Jobbik spokesman Ádám Mirkóczky said Novák would not apologize, and the party was ready to pay any fines in the future. [nepszava.hu, hirtv.hu, hetivalasz.hu]