Jewish groups in Hungary and abroad are speaking out following government sanctions against a popular center run by a Jewish youth organization.
In 2007, Sebastian Gorka, President Trump’s chief counter-terrorism adviser, publicly supported a violent racist and anti-Semitic paramilitary group.
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.
While Gorka patron Steve Bannon is well known, Thomas Saunders III is a lesser-known figure to the general public. But Saunders, a private equity fund manager has been is a major donor to the Republican Party, chairman of the conservative Heritage Foundation and related to Gorka’s wife, Katharine Cornell Gorka.
The Forward finds Sebastian Gorka, a close aide to President Trump, had close ties to the Hungarian far-right, and worked with openly racist groups.
Gábor Vona, who heads Hungary’s far-right party, Jobbik, famously showed up on his first day as a member of Parliament in 2010 wearing the uniform of a banned racist and an anti-Semitic paramilitary group. But sitting in his office overlooking the partially frozen Danube River, Vona was dressed in a simple gray suit for his first-ever interview with a Jewish publication.
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.
For many European Jews, Trump’s victory is a signal that Europe’s struggle with ethno-nationalist populism is spreading to America, the land most of them viewed as the world’s redoubt against this tide.
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.