Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Csanad Szegedi is a Hungarian politician. He was a founder of the fascist paramilitary Hungarian Guard, and in 2009 was elected to the European Parliament as a representative of the anti-Semitic Jobbik party. Except there's one problem: it turns out that Szegedi is Jewish:

Following weeks of Internet rumours, Szegedi acknowledged in June that his grandparents on his mother's side were Jews - making him one too under Jewish law, even though he doesn't practice the faith.

His grandmother was an Auschwitz survivor and his grandfather a veteran of forced labor camps.

Since then, the 30-year-old has become a pariah in Jobbik and his political career is on the brink of collapse. He declined to be interviewed for this story.


Under pressure, Szegedi resigned last month from all party positions and gave up his Jobbik membership.

That wasn't good enough for the party: Last week it asked him to give up his seat in the European Parliament as well. Jobbik says its issue is the suspected bribery, not his Jewish roots.

It's beautifully ironic that a leading anti-Semite would turn out to be Jewish – about as beautiful as finding out that a US Republican bigot is in fact gay. But its also deeply illuminating about Jobbik. When a party forces someone to resign from leadership positions (and wants to force them to resign from the European Parliament) for being Jewish, then those public denials of anti-Semitism ring kindof hollow.