Jobbik Deputy Leader to Step Down After Anti-Semitic Recording Surfaces
Jobbik deputy group leader and parliamentary notary István Szávay announced his immediate resignation on Thursday following the release of recordings containing anti-Semitic comments and details of an alleged assault.
On Wednesday, Hir TV presented a sound recording of Szávay privately informing fellow party members at a spring congress that he had verbally and physically assaulted a Jewish woman in a pub the previous day. According to Szávay, the woman initiated the conflict:
“She was yelling, ‘Nazis are stinking here,’ and I just knocked her out, dirty Jew, pakk, just like this.”
He admitted that the recording and the anti-Semitic comments were authentic, however, he insisted that he did not actually physically harm the woman.
In a message posted to his Facebook page on Thursday, Szávay said he informed group leader Márton Gyöngyösi about his resignation, which was accepted, and announced that he will remain a member of the Parliament.
This is not the first anti-Semitic scandal involving Jobbik. Years ago, in his speech at the Parliament, Márton Gyöngyösi suggested listing those in the national assembly and the government with dual Israeli citizenships, because, in his view, they could pose a threat to national security. Later he backtracked, saying his statement was “a bad sentence, it was a not-well-thought-through sentence, it was a disastrous sentence.”
Another member of Jobbik, Gergely Kulcsár, caused an international outcry when he spit on the Shoes on the Danube Bank Holocaust memorial in Budapest in 2015.