Jobbik deputy: Lawmaker with Israeli passport must step down

Statement follows colleague’s call for a list of Jews living in Hungary

(JTA) — A lawmaker for Hungary’s ultranationalist Jobbik party demanded that a Parliament colleague resign because she has Israeli citizenship.

Elod Novak said during a news conference Nov. 29 that Katalin Ertsey of the opposition LMP Party should step down because she had an Israeli passport in addition to her Hungarian nationality.

Index, a Hungarian news portal, later quoted Novak as saying, “Israel has more deputies in the Hungarian parliament than they have in the Israeli Knesset,” and this caused the Hungarian parliament to make “favorable” decisions toward Israel.

Novak sent an email to all deputies on Nov. 28 requesting that in the public interest, they make any dual citizenship public.

The French news agency AFP quoted Attila Peterfalvi, president of the National Data Protection and Freedom of Information Authority, as saying a lawmaker’s dual citizenship is in the public domain, but the other nationality is not made known. Having to declare that would be a “violation of human dignity,” he said.

Novak’s comments came in the wake of remarks by fellow Jobbik lawmaker Marton Gyongyosi, who had proposed drawing up a list of people in the country “to see how many are of Jewish origin and present a certain national security risk to Hungary.” Gyongyosi made his remarks during a Nov. 26 parliamentary debate on Israel’s military operation against escalated terrorist bombings from the Gaza Strip.

Gyongyosi later apologized to his “Jewish compatriots,” saying he meant only those with dual Hungarian-Israeli citizenship.

The Anti-Defamation League has called Jobbik an “overtly anti-Semitic party.”

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