WJC President Lauder concerned by Hungarian opposition party members’ moves to ally with extremist Jobbik

11 Feb 2019

NEW YORK – World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder has expressed concern over indications that members of Hungary’s opposition party were considering teaming up with the far-right Jobbik party, following his recent visit to Hungary.

“I have been deeply troubled by reports in recent months that some opposition party members in Hungary have been willing to entertain the possibility of alliances with the extremist Jobbik party,” Lauder said. “I recently travelled to Hungary to assess the situation for myself and 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. Party members and leaders have since repeatedly been mired in controversy over their hateful antisemitic statements and actions. 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,” Lauder said

“Jobbik must do far more to credibly demonstrate that it opposes antisemitism and racism, and to prove by way of its actions that it does not pose a threat to the security and well-being of the Jewish community and other minority groups in Hungary. As long as extremism reigns within this party, Jobbik must be designated by its peers in the Hungarian parliament, as well as by the international community, 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.