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Hungarian Spectrum’s Éva S. Balogh Offers More Praise for Anti-Semitic Jobbik Leader

Hungarian Spectrum’s editor-in-chief, Éva S. Balogh wrote an article about the Hungarian opposition primaries. In the article she wrote about two left-wing candidates, Gergely Karácsony and Klára Dobrev, and the far-right, anti-Semitic leader of Jobbik, Péter Jakab.

Balogh wrote:

“The pollsters asked which of three leading candidates is best described as a born politician: Gergely Karácsony, Klára Dobrev, or Péter Jakab. Karácsony did poorly. He received only 16% of the votes. Klára Dobrev came in second with 31%, and the clear winner was Jakab with 40%. Jakab’s performance since last August has been remarkable. At that time, Jobbik was in ruins, with almost no prospects. As Böcskei says, since then it has become apparent that Jobbik equals Jakab, the son of the people with great appeal.”(1)

The article failed to mention any of Jakab’s previous anti-Semitism scandals.

In early 2020 JTA summarised(2) this as follows:

“Jakab, a practicing Catholic, has been accused of anti-Semitism in Hungarian media after he blamed Jews for generating anti-Semitism for financial gain. He has also denied that he or Jobbik were anti-Semitic. (…) Jakab has cited this background to qualify his statements about Jews and Israel, which prompted the popular Origo news site to report in 2018 that anti-Semitism “is the one constant element in Peter Jakab’s career.” In 2014, Jakab appeared to blame Jews for anti-Semitism and abusing the memory of the Holocaust for financial gain. “We hear nothing in the media about how Jewish clergy want to cash in on the Holocaust. Let’s face it, they have a huge responsibility in the fact that today, a significant part of Hungarian society feels that we don’t need to remember the Holocaust,” Jakab said. “It is these Jewish leaders who generate the prejudices that they can use to collect millions for more programs fighting anti-Semitism,” he added. Jakab wrote that Israel “violates Hungarian interests” and that, “It is finally time for Hungarian Jewry, and especially its leading class, to be absorbed” into Hungarian society.”

This is not the first time Balogh was caught whitewashing the neo-Nazi party’s leader.

Earlier this month Balogh wrote:

“Although the Hungarian far right had a heyday over his partially Jewish heritage and journalists of one of the Fidesz rags kept calling him Jakob instead Jakab, he seems to have a healthy attitude toward own selfhood, which, by the way, doesn’t seem to include Jewish identity or consciousness. Jakab spent his childhood and practically his entire adult life in Miskolc, where, after finishing university, he taught history in Kalyi Jag Roma Minority Secondary and Vocational School in town.”(3)

This article, again, failed to mention any of Jakab’s anti-Semitism scandals or the fact that he was fired from the Roma school mentioned for being a Jobbik candidate, or that in a 2011 interview he fired scores of racist remarks at his ex-students.(3)