PRESS RELEASE OF HUNGARIAN EVANGELICAL FELLOWSHIP
Statement on the latest Nazi provocation and the responses to it
No-one could distinguish the sound of the shouts
of joy from the sound of weeping, because
the people made so much noise (Ezra 3:13)
I condemn in the name of our church, the Hungarian Evangelical Fellowship, the provocative attempt by a Jobbik member of Parliament to persuade the house to consider “on national security grounds” which members of the National Assembly and present Hungarian government are Jewish or connected to Israel in some way.
We consider it necessary to note that the incident is not unprecedented, though this openly Nazi proposal was condemned by all parliamentary groups but the one mentioned (which tried to talk its way out of what was indefensible).
The right-wing government in power – through constant threats, slanders, artificially divisiveness, stirring up feeling against the poor and the minorities or simply otherness of any kind, legislating without any kind of consensus, and constantly, even retroactively curtailing our rights – has discredited Hungary not only at home but abroad, and produced conditions for open display of the extremist behavior being objected to here.
We welcome the fact that parties, organizations and individuals have condemned what occurred in writing, parliamentary speeches and the form of a street demonstration. Nazi, Arrow-Cross, fascist, racist or anti-otherness statements and behavior can occur on the peripheries of society and public life even in a respectable democracy. Uniting against them is the duty of all, regardless of party, denomination or social position.
We regret that the organizers of Sunday’s demonstration did not draw on all democratic forces, even omitting some democratic parliamentary parties from its ad hoc coalition. We also regret that their inclusion among the speakers of the parliamentary leader of the main governing party conveyed the impression that the party, in its conduct hitherto, bore no blame for the current daily revival of the ideas that brought ignominy and bereavement to Hungary between the two world wars.
But we see the greatest harm in the way the well-intentioned crowd of protesters were misled. We regret how the organizers have left us with a suspicion that they were moved more by secondary political aims, by a desire to demonstrate their influence in society. For our part, we neither forbade (nor ever would forbid) our members to attend this political event nor encouraged them to do so (which we would also refrain from doing as far as possible). Nonetheless, we must now encourage everyone, now as ever, to refrain from entering into any kind of communion with satanic racism, anti-Semitism, or hatred of otherness in any form, and so to distance ourselves openly and unequivocally.
Rev. Gábor Iványi
President of Hungarian Evangelical Fellowship