January 12th, 2017

Quotable: Gábor Vona on Jobbik and Israel

“If we disagree, we want to be able to criticize Israel like we criticize Sweden or Germany, but naturally we respect its right to exist, form its own identity, opinions and articulate its interests.”

Jobbik leader Gábor Vona on the radical-nationalist party's evolving view towards Israel. His statement followed his well-publicized offering of Hanukkah greetings to Hungarian Jews, who have often been the target of Jobbik politicians and supporters. [Reuters]
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  • naturally we respect its right to exist

    but inside which borders?

    • pantanifan

      Maybe Vona genuinely has changed his views on Israel/Jewish questions, but how many core Jobbik supporters agree with him?

      One alternative, cynical interpretation of his quoted comments:
      “We use to be more anti-Jewish than anti-Muslim, but now (since a lot of Muslims have come to Europe) it is politically expedient to be more anti-Muslim than anti-Jewish”

      • Yes, this anti-muslim trend means more old East-Europe has become more like West-Europe. Question if that should be seen as progress?

        In the 90s I could still hear how Hungarians around me, like on the street referred to me as Zsido/Jew, especially if they had a problem with me. That was their perception on a typical European-looking foreign guy being in Hungary – must be a jew…

        Due to my looks I do not think anybody thinks I am ‘Muslim’ today though, but it was many years ago I heard Zsido/Jew being thrown after me. Probably not kosher anymore.

        On the other hand during 2015/16 I spent a lot of time in Poland and there it is definitely totally OK to bash Jews, especially among PiS-supporters. Muslim-bashing was though very frequent, but Polish are maybe better in multi-tasking than Hungarians?

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