Even a few months ago Hungarian commentators were still reluctant to call Jobbik a Nazi party. No longer.
If one didn't know about the true nature of Jobbik before, Márton Gyöngyösi's infamous interview with the Jewish Chronicle in February must have opened everyone's eyes. For more about Gyöngyösi and the interview, see my post entitled "Jobbik's foreign relations expert: Márton Gyöngyösi." A few weeks later party chairman Gábor Vona made it clear that he and his comrades are not democrats.
But perhaps the most outrageous act by a member of Jobbik came when Zsolt Baráth, an elementary school teacher by training, rose in parliament to recall the alleged ritual murder committed by some Orthodox Jews of Tiszaeszlár in 1882. Hungarian Spectrum reported on that event as well.
What I haven't written about in detail is that a few days ago it became public knowledge that members of the Jobbik parliamentary caucus behave like barbarians in the chamber. They constantly yell obscenities at the MPs sitting on the left side of the aisle: MSZP, LMP, and DK. The machos of Jobbik (and to some extent the machos of Fidesz) also hurl insults at women members of the democratic opposition. For some strange reason nobody talked about these Jobbik atrocities. At least not until now.
Gábor Scheiring (LMP) had enough and wrote about the behavior of Jobbik members of parliament. On his blog he mentioned some of the incidents he found most objectionable. Scheiring doesn't name names, which is a pity because it would be interesting to know which particular Jobbik MP thought that "Hitler was right in everything except he made a mistake with this holocaust thing which is a weapon in the hands of the Jewry." He added that the Jews "are people of Satan." The same man claimed that he has "documents that prove that the whole [Tiszaeszlár] thing was a ritual murder." Epithets like "you filthy murderous communists" or "trashy left-wing traitors" coming from the Jobbik caucus are apparently everyday occurrences. The leadership of Jobbik shouldn't be surprised when the title of a recently published article by James Kirchick is "Meet Europe's New Fascists."
So, we have a neo-Nazi party in Hungary that according to the latest Ipsos poll is supported by 7% of all eligible voters. The determination of Jobbik supporters, however, is great. Among those who are certain that they would go and vote, Jobbik's share is 17%. I should add, on a brighter note, that these numbers have been declining in the last three or four months.
Wolf and sheep/flckr
What is the relation between the governing Fidesz-KDNP and the neo-Nazi Jobbik? Recently an analysis by Policy Solutions, a Hungarian think tank, has been circulating on the Internet. I must have received at least three copies from three different sources. It is a two-page comparison of Jobbik campaign promises/demands and to what extent the governing Fidesz-KDNP fulfilled these promises.
(1) Jobbik: The multinational companies don't pay their full share of taxes. Fidesz-KDNP: Extra levies were imposed on banks, telecommunication companies, supermarket chains, and energy suppliers. They are mostly foreign owned.
(2) Jobbik: Stop compulsory savings in private pension funds. Fidesz-KDNP: Done and more. It expropriated the savings.
(3) Jobbik: Reintroduction of grades and repeating whole years in school. Fidesz-KDNP: Done in the lower grades.
(4) Jobbik: The Holy Crown should symbolize the Hungarian state and the nation. Fidesz-KDNP: In the new constitution it is stated that the Holy Crown is the embodiment of the continuity of Hungarian constitutionalism and the unity of the nation.
(5) Jobbik: Demanded a new media law that ensures electronic and written media serve the Hungarian national identity and that requires balanced reporting. It should also allow for speedy punishment in case of non-compliance. Fidesz-KDNP: Done.
(6) Jobbik: Students between grades 5 and 8 should be able to visit at least one Hungarian territory annexed after World War I, to be organized and paid for by the school. Fidesz-KDNP: Done.
(7) Jobbik: The Christian roots of Hungary should be included in the Basic Laws. Fidesz-KDNP: Done.
(8) Jobbik: The statue of Mihály Károlyi should be removed as soon as possible from Kossuth tér. Roosevelt tér should be named Széchenyi tér. Jobbik also demanded the removal of all names connected to "historically negative persons" from public spaces and buildings. It demanded erecting new statues for people unjustly forgotten or neglected: Miklós Horthy, Albert Wass, Pál Teleki, Cecile Tormay, and so on. Fidesz-KDNP: Mihály Károlyi's statue gone; Roosevelt tér no more; the new law on local government includes a passage on the naming of streets or buildings after anyone who can in any way be connected to the establishment of dictatorship. There are plans to name a square after Albert Wass.
(9) Jobbik: Suspension of eviction of non-paying mortgage holders for a whole year. In addition, banks should be forbidden to change the terms of a contract. Fidesz-KDNP: Added another two and a half months to the moratorium. It forbade any change in a contract and gave people the opportunity to pay off their mortgages at a lower fixed rate in one lump sum.
(10) Jobbik: Campaigned against members of parliament holding on to more than one job. For example, there are many MPs who are also mayors or members of city councils. Fidesz-KDNP: A law to that effect is under consideration and will most likely pass.
(11) Jobbik: The party on the very first day of the parliamentary session in 2010 submitted a proposal to declare the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Trianon a day of national remembrance. Fidesz-KDNP: It was done immediately.
(12) Jobbik: Hungary must stop its servile behavior vis-à-vis the European Union. "Jobbik is even ready for confrontation with the European Union. If we must choose between the interest of the nation and the Union we will not be afraid to choose our homeland and nation." Fidesz-KDNP: I don't think that I have to dwell much on how good a student Viktor Orbán became of Jobbik in this respect.
So, after this brief list it will be difficult for Fidesz to pose as the only political force in Hungary that is capable of standing against right radicalism in Hungary.