In a news story that is eerily similar to the Dave Chappelle skit about the blind black man who is a white supremacist, Csanad Szegedi, the leader of Hungary’s far-right right anti-semitic Jobbik party, has discovered he is Jewish. From the New York Times:
Following weeks of Internet rumors, Szegedi acknowledged in June that his grandparents on his mother’s side were Jews — making him one too under Jewish law, even though he doesn’t practice the faith. His grandmother was an Auschwitz survivor and his grandfather a veteran of forced labor camps.
Szegedi originally discovered he was Jewish during a 2010 meeting between himself and a convicted felon who claimed to have paperwork proving Szegedi’s Jewish descent. The audio of the meeting was recorded, and has Szegedi attempting to bribe the felon to keep the papers secret.
Despite his attempts to cover things up, rumors of Szegedi’s Jewish descent began spreading through the internet until June, when Szegedi officially admitted that he is Jewish. Since this admission, the Jobbik party has pressured Szegedi to resign from all government positions, and give up his Jobbik party membership and seat in the European Parliament.
The story is about as disgusting as it is satisfying. I can only hope that these events have a lasting effect on the views of the Jobbik party or, at the very least, Szegedi himself – although I have my doubts. In my experience, bigoted opinions don’t tend to come from any kind of sober reflection of the world. They’re more of an unthinking knee-jerk reaction to things, and they don’t tend to change very easily.
One bright side to this story (besides the obvious irony) is that, after officially announcing that he is Jewish on a local TV station, Szegedi has apologized for any offense his words may have caused the Jewish community. He has also stated that he plans on visiting Auschwitz to pay his respects to the victims of the holocaust. That’s something at least.
Now if we could somehow convince Herman Cain, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, the “reporters” at Fox News, and, while we’re at it, a large portion of the republican party that they are related to Muslims, maybe we could end some of the islamophobia that has been plaguing our country. In fact, it might even be true.