On the morning of March 19, as a controversy grew over senior presidential aide Sebastian Gorka, an unidentified individual amended the Wikipedia page of a previously obscure far-right Hungarian organization called the Vitézi Rend, or Order of Vitéz.
The public has the right to ask whether Sebastian Gorka, a man with alarming associations and a checkered academic resume, should be in the White House room when national security issues are debated and decided.
An investigation by the Forward into the activities of Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to the president, from 2002 to 2007, while he was active in Hungarian politics and journalism, found that he had close ties then to Hungarian far-right circles, and has in the past worked with openly racist and anti-Semitic groups and public figures.
Gábor Vona, the leader of Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party, for the first time ever, sent a letter in December to Hungarian Jews conveying greetings to “you and your faith community with respect on the occasion of Hanukkah.” The letter, from the head of a party with a long history of anti-Semitism, has set off a firestorm within the Hungarian Jewish community.
As Hungary grapples with the impact of an unprecedented refugee crisis — and the government’s own vitriolic anti-refugee campaign — young Budapest Jews have come to the forefront of the fight for refugees’ rights.