The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz) is protesting against the running of Jobbik’s László Bíró at the opposition primaries, due to anti-Semitic remarks the Jobbik politician has made in the past. His offensive words have caused turmoil even before an October by-election on which he was the opposition’s joint candidate.
“Even back then, we had hoped that he would only be mentioned in past tense from then on,” goes Mazsihisz’s statement, explaining that while the organization “still doesn’t wish to get involved in party political issues, it strongly signals its protest over the participation of politicians with anti-Semitic views in public life.” During the by-election “we had already voiced that we consider László Bíró to be unworthy of representing an electorate due to his prior anti-Semitic remarks (…)
We are convinced that people who claim exclusionary ideas in Hungarian public life only have a past in politics, and not a future.”
László Bíró (of right-wing, formerly far-right Jobbik) was the joint opposition’s candidate back at the by-election in the 6th constituency of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county (centering around the town of Szerencs), held in October 2020 due to the death of Fidesz MP Ferenc Koncz. Soon after his name made it to the public, some of his earlier, anti-Semitic social media comments were unearthed. In one instance, he called Budapest “Judapest,” while in another, he complained that there were too many foreign Jews among the guests of the spa hotels in Tarcal.
Although he later apologized for his remarks, his candidacy generated criticism on each political side, and several Jewish organizations protested the move. Eventually, Fidesz’s Zsófia Koncz (daughter of the aforementioned, deceased lawmaker) won the mid-term vote. Later, corruption allegations were also made against Bíró (due to an EU tender of a company of his), who, on the other hand, denied the charges, which are still to be proven.
Despite the criticism and division, Jobbik has still decided to run Bíró at the opposition primaries in the same constituency.
featured image via Jobbik’s Facebook page