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Budapest U. Suspends Student Council Over Suspected Listing of Jews

The rector of the University of Budapest reportedly suspended a student council suspected listing of Jews and other minorities.

Barna Mezey on Feb. 21 ordered the HOK student council of the humanities to cease all its activities following reports that its members broke the law when they compiled lists on freshmen containing personal information on presumed ethnic background and political affiliation, ATV television channel reported.

Mezey ordered that the matter be reported to the police, the report said.

ATV said it had obtained a 2009 list classifying several students as Jews. HOK leader Adam Garbai told two Hungarian newspapers that the ATV report is baseless.

Separately, a Hungarian nationalist politician who called for the listing of Jews as a potential risk said Israel’s ban on dual-citizen lawmakers as proving his point.

Marton Gyongyosi, the deputy leader of the radical right Jobbik party in Hungary’s parliament, on Feb. 19 told the local news agency MTI that the Israeli ban “shows that in Israel holding dual citizenship for a member of parliament is automatically recognized as a security risk.”

Gyongyosi caused an international outcry late last year when he said in Hungarian parliament in November that: “Now is the time to assess…how many people of Jewish origin there are here, and especially in the Hungarian parliament and the Hungarian government, who represent a certain national security risk for Hungary.”

He later backtracked from his statement, which evoked memories of Holocaust-era indexing, saying he only meant Israeli dual citizens. “I apologize to my Jewish compatriots for my equivocal statement,” he said.

His latest references to Israel were in reaction to news that the seven elected Israeli representatives who had dual citizenship had to give them up before taking an oath to become lawmakers.

In 2010, Jobbik – which the Anti-Defamation League has called “openly anti-Semitic” despite claims to the contrary by party officials – won 16 percent of the total vote in Hungary, becoming the country’s third largest party with 47 seats out of the Hungarian parliament’s 386 seats.

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