NEW YORK – This week, Hungarian Parliament member Marton Gyongyosi suggested in Parliament that all Jews in his country’s government should be counted and monitored as dangerous. On behalf of the Rabbinical Assembly, the Gerald Skolnik, RA President, and Julie Schonfeld, RA Executive Vice President, issued the following statement expressing the RA’s shock and dismay at Gyongyosi’s words:
The anti-Semitic sentiment behind Mr. Gyongyosi’s recent words in Parliament is undeniable. We are appalled and deeply saddened that anyone elected to serve a democratic nation today would suggest identifying individuals by their religion – for any reason, but especially out of an unfounded claim that Jews in government "represent a certain national security risk for Hungary."
As we are taught by Jewish scholar Abraham Joshua Heschel, "Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason."
Did we not learn mortal and unforgettable lessons from the Holocaust, when hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews were killed, its Jewish population decimated and Jewish heritage lost forever? Mr. Gyongyosi’s alignment of Hungarian Jews with the terrorist organization Hamas is a horrible, unjustifiable insult to both the collective memory of Holocaust victims and the Jewish people worldwide.
Furthermore, making rash and broad generalizations about the members of any faith group is never acceptable and is blatantly ignorant.
Our rabbis stand with the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation in its demand that Mr. Gyongyosi be held to account for his hateful message. We call upon the government of Hungary and other world leaders, as well as the United Nations, to condemn such vitriolic, anti-Semitic language and to take special care to prioritize religious freedom and religious equality. No religious group should leave in fear.