Hungarian Prosecutor Dismisses Complaint Filed Against Politician Who Wanted to Make List of Jews
by Zach Pontz
The Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation (EMIH) has learned that a complaint filed against a Hungarian politician who urged the government to compile list of Jews who pose a “national security risk” has been dismissed by Hungary’s Prosecutorial Office for Criminal Investigation.
During Israel’s November confrontation with Hamas, Marton Gyongyosi, a politician in the far-right Jobbik party, told Parliament: “I know how many people with Hungarian ancestry live in Israel, and how many Israeli Jews live in Hungary.”
“I think such a conflict [between Hamas and Israel] makes it timely to tally up people of Jewish ancestry who live here, especially in the Hungarian Parliament and the Hungarian government, who, indeed, pose a national security risk to Hungary.”
In his press release, chief prosecutor Imre Keresztes explained: “In the consistent judicial practice of courts, the criminal act of incitement of hatred is only realized if the perpetrator rouses emotions to such an extent that it creates a direct danger that such aroused emotions can lead to violent actions. (…) The act of Márton Gyöngyösi, therefore, does not qualify as incitement of hatred, and this is why no indictment was brought against him.”
EMIH released a statement that read in part: “It is our conviction that this rejection is a further sign that the current Hungarian judicial practice is unable to provide an adequate response to the phenomena of incitement of hatred. We find it absurd that in the practice of the courts and the prosecutor’s office, the relevant provisions of law are applied in a way that obviously contradicts the original intention of the legislators and the spirit of the law.”
EMIH also noted that it has no further recourse on the matter because of the prosecutor’s “completely illogical reference to the provision that no objection may be filed against the rejection, because the “party filing the police report may not file an objection against the rejection if they are not themselves the victim of the criminal act.”
Dr. Slomó Köves, Executive Rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation, told The Algemeiner he took issue with that contention. “If we are not the offended party then who is?” He said.
“Unfortunately we have gotten use to such speech in the media and different places, especially on the Internet, but to say such speech in the Parliament without consequences is a big problem.”
Furthermore Köves questioned Hungary’s compliance with European Union law. “There is a law against incitement for hate in the Hungarian law system but it is almost never applied. We really think the Parliament has to make it clear what this law means. If there is a law against incitement for hate this does not mean that incitement for a hate act, it means even if its only incitement for somebody else– that’s already hate. There is an initiative of the European Union that each member country has to have a law against both of these things. We believe Hungary is not fulfilling this requirement,” he told The Algemeiner.
Koves said that EMIH has no intention of giving up and will use all resources at its disposal. “This will definitely be a battle,” he said.