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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Anti-Semitic Politician In Hungary Discovers He’s Jewish

Hungary, rarely an exporter of dramatic headlines, has come to the fore following the revelation that Csanad Szegedi, the virulently anti-semitic leader of the radical nationalist political party Jobbik, is actually Jewish.

In an ironic twist, Szegadi — who has accused Jews of “‘buying up’ the country, railed about the ‘Jewishness’ of the political elite and claimed Jews were desecrating national symbols” — apparently discovered his Jewish heritage during a conversation in 2010 with former convict and political enemy Zoltan Ambrus. Both of his maternal grandparents were Jewish, and his grandmother was imprisoned in Auschwitz and Dachau during the Holocaust. Subsequently, Szegadi attempted to bribe Ambrus with EU funds and an EU job offer, which Ambrus declined.

As the Internet rumor mill began to spin out of control, Szegadi finally acknowledged that he was, indeed, ethnically if not culturally Jewish. Since June 2012, Szegadi has been forced to resign from his post at the Jobbik party. He has also met with Hungary’s chief rabbi, and apologized for his comments in the past.

Given Szegadi’s intensely xenophobic rhetoric, many were shocked — none more so than Szegadi himself — to learn of his maternal Jewish bloodline, a central marker of Jewish identity. However, stories like Szegadi’s became fairly common in the years after the Holocaust. Such was the atrocious loss of dignity that many were shamed into permanently burying their Judaism. Others, out of fear of future retaliation and anti-semitism. The secularist wave of communism that took over Europe after World War II further sustained and increased this effect. Assimilated families overcompensated in their rejection of Judaism by becoming intensely religious in their new faith, and withholding their past from their children.

Szegadi’s case is not unlike that of former secretary of state Madelaine Albright, who only at the age of 59 discovered that her parents were Jewish, after a reporter from the Washington Post started making inquiries into her family’s past in Czechoslovakia. Of course, Albright never uttered an anti-semitic statement like Szegadi’s, but her story reveals a historical trend of children being permanently sheltered from a fundamental part of their identity. Albright was raised Episcopalian, and throughout her life was deeply religious. In April, Albright came out with a new book, Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance, 1937-1948, documenting her family’s story and her Jewish roots in Czechoslovakia.

  • Consider the large number of Ashkenazi Jews, including Sephardic Jews, that lived in Europe for centuries before the exodus back to what we know today as Israel, this is not a surprise.,

  • I do not know of a more virulent, hysterical, totally unsubstantiated prejudice than anti-Semitism ~ in any era of human history. I will defer to the psychiatrists on this one but I think anyone who is a practicing anti-Semite has to be a raving psychotic. The interesting thing is that we are all related to each other, everybody living and who has ever lived, by blood. Start with Alex Shoumatoff’s The Mountain of Names, 1985.

    • An interesting fact: Semites include Arabs too. Therefore, the enmity observed between them is not anti-Semitism at all. It is merely the fact that Jews from Europe returned to their ancestral stamping grounds and tried to forcefully evict the people who had remained there for millenia. They were the first to use widespread terrorism after WWII. The Irgun, Stern Gang, Menachim Begin, Ariel Sharon, and many others were terrorists or terroristic groups. They killed the defenseless Palestinians, blew up the King David Hotel, and generally made themselves hated and feared. Of course, as self-designated “Chosen People” they see their behavior as perfectly justified and approved by God. They demonize anyone who disagrees and have many mouthpieces elsewhere who back up their propaganda.
      I am not claiming that the Arabs are angels either although, like the Jews, the Muslims claim to be descendents of Abraham and believers in the Ten Commandments.

  • WhutHeSaid

    Poetic justice. What could be more fitting for a rabid bigot than to learn that he is the very object of his own hate? This is a perfect illustration of the foolishness of racism.

  • rickd24

    Tried to post this on Facebook and it showed Mitt Romney’s mug in the preview picture. Looks like it’s picking it up from the popup ad that keeps showing up here whenever I open a new story. C’mon, NatMemo, get your website together here.

  • AirmanFirstClass

    According to every bible I have read, the human population has always been Hebrew. So now what?

    • You might be surprised to know, Airman, that the Jews wrote the Bible, and as in the Creation myths observed by anthropologists in many other societies, made themselves God’s special pets. You also may be surprized that humanity evolved long before the Bible and we homo sapiens are related to all life forms. I will withhold other surprizes for now.

  • bestofandy

    By the same argument, we can say that if we believe evolution, we are all related because we have a common ancestor at one time in the past. Hence racism is foolish. The problem is that we create cultural and religious “clubs” for ourselves and decide who shall not enter our sacred clubs. That is not racism, that is instead a form of cultural and religious hatred class of our fellow humans.

    What if an atheist discovered that he/she was jewish by patental roots? Should that person become jewish and accept becoming another follower of a cultural/religious hatred class by definition of their ancestry? I think not, which is why atheism is the better way.

  • never forget, so called “christans “have killed more people on this world then any other god squad .