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      Extreme Right Hungarian Leader Challenges Chabad Rabbi to Debate

      Leader of extreme right Hungarian political party challenged head of the Hungarian Jewish Congregation, to a public debate on anti-Semitism.
      By Rachel Hirshfeld
      First Publish: 7/5/2012, 3:00 PM

      Hungarian neo-Nazi celebration
      Hungarian neo-Nazi celebration
      Reuters

      Leader of the extreme right Hungarian political party challenged Slomo Koves, the Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Congregation, to a public debate on anti-Semitism, Politics.hu reported.

      Jobbik party leader Gabor Vona Koves spoke about the need to launch a consultation between Hungarian society and Jewish organizations on ways to combat anti-Semitism.

      “Jobbik has never had and will never have any programme point, proposal or idea which discriminates between Hungary’s inhabitants on the grounds of ethnicity and religion,” Vona said.

      He added that Jobbik had become exposed to a “coordinated slander campaign” to portray the party as an anti-Semitic, racist, extremist force in order to prevent it from putting up a challenge to ruling party Fidesz in the next elections, according to the news site.

      The debate with Koves will offer a good chance to clarify “who has an interest in floating the issue of anti-Semitism in Hungary,” and making it clear that neither Jobbik, nor its program, is anti-Semitic, but only “pro-Hungarian”, he said.

      Last week Jobbik member Csanad Szegedi, who had been known for espousing anti-semitic views, confessed to discovering his Jewish roots. 

      “Knowing who is a pure-race Hungarian is not what counts,” he said. “The important thing is the way one behaves as a Hungarian.”