Hungarian Right-Wing Extremist Discovers He's-- Gasp-- a Jew
Szegedi and the Jobbik Party
Csanad Szegedi was minding his own business, which meant advocating against the European Union, the Roma (gypsies), the Slovaks and the Jews, as a leading member of Hungary's radical right-wing Christian nationalist Jobbik Party, when he unfortunately learned that his grandmother on his mother's side was Jewish. According to Jewish law, that makes him a Jew.
Szegedi was a founding member of the Hungarian Guard (Magyar Garda), which was created in 2007 by the Jobbik Party in an attempt to have some “muscle” in Hungarian politics. Guard members dressed in black uniforms and carried flags reminiscent of the “good old days” when fascism was fashionable. Hungarian courts banned the Guard in 2009, but Szegedi had already joined the Jobbik Party where he became a rising star in the party that describes itself as “a principled, conservative and radically patriotic Christian party” and which others describe as fascist, anti-Semitic, anti-Roma and homophobic.
Jobbik, formed in 2003, didn't gain traction until the global economy plunged Hungary into economic hard times. As an example of their meteoric rise, in 2006, the Jobbik Party received 231 2nd round votes; in 2009, they received 141,323 2nd round votes, making them the third largest political party in Hungary and giving them 47 seats in Hungary's Parliament. They also landed three seats in the European Parliament. Csanad Szegedi was one of those three MEPs (Member of European Parliament).
Ambushed With The Truth
In 2010, Szegedi met with Zoltan Ambrus who said he had important information Szegedi needed to know about. Unbeknownst to Szegedi, Ambrus was working on behalf of unspecified party members who were trying to oust Szegedi from a local leadership post in an inter-party struggle and the conversation was secretly recorded. Ambrus informed Szegedi that he had documented proof that Szegedi's mother's parents were Jews. Since Judaism traces from mother to child, that made him a Jew. Szegedi was genuinely shocked and offered Ambrus money and a party position to keep his secret. Ambrus declined.
Szegedi later talked with his grandmother and discovered that her family were Orthodox Jews who had been deported to Auschwitz and then Dachau. She was the only member of the family to survive. His grandfather had been sent to forced labor camps during the war.
Being an MEP Can Be Lucrative
MEPs (Member of European Parliament) are paid an average £83,000 per year ($130,000). They also receive a daily "subsistence allowance" of £265 ($400), they can be refunded up to £3,600 ($5,500) per year for other travel outside their own country, and be reimbursed for up to 24 return journeys within their own country. Members also receive up to £242,000 ($375,000) annually in staff salaries and office expenses and benefit from a generous health care and pension system.
Still a Member
Although kicked out of the Jobbik Party, as of February 2013, Csanad is still a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) representing Jobbik. Since becoming an MEP on July 14, 2009, his loyalty to Jobbik in the European Parliament stands at 94.53% (1833 out of 1939 votes).
Still later, in 2012, when the leadership of Jobbik saw the recording, they demanded his resignation-- not for being Jewish, of course, but for attempting to bribe Ambrus and participating in a cover-up. One can only imagine their sighs of relief when viewing Szegedi offering money to hush the whole thing up.
On July 28, 2012, Szegedi relinquished all party posts and resigned from Jobbik, but clings to his post as a European Union (EU) lawmaker. Apparently, he thinks the best way to fight the European Union is from the inside-- but check out the sidebar regarding MEP remunerations. Jobbik Party President Gabor Vona has regretfully said “We have no alternative but to ask him to return his EU mandate”.
Csanad Szegedi now defines himself as 100 percent Hungarian with ancestry of Jewish origin who never practiced the Jewish religion. There has been no indication from the Jewish community about how they feel about the situation, though Rabbi Koves, who Szegedi has talked with, described a conversation he had with Szegedi as “difficult and spiritually stressful,” but is hopeful for a successful outcome.