|Movement for a Better Hungary
Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom
|Founded||24 October 2003|
|Headquarters||1113 Budapest, Villányi út 20/A|
|European affiliation||Alliance of European National Movements|
|European Parliament group||Non-Inscrits|
|Colours||Red and Silver|
|Politics of Hungary
Jobbik, The Movement for a Better Hungary (Hungarian: Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom), commonly known as Jobbik (pronounced [ˈjobːik]), is a Hungarian radical nationalist political party. The party describes itself as "a principled, conservative and radically patriotic Christian party", whose "fundamental purpose" was the protection of "Hungarian values and interests." Jobbik has been described by scholars, different press outlets and its political opponents as fascist, neo-fascist, Neo-Nazi, extremist, racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Roma and homophobic. Measured according to its representation in the European Parliament and the National Assembly, it is Hungary's third largest party.
- 1 History and development
- 2 Issues and ideology
- 3 Policy position
- 4 Controversy
- 5 Election results
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
History and development
Originally established in 2002 as the Right-Wing Youth Association (Jobboldali Ifjúsági Közösség – JOBBIK) by a group of Catholic and Protestant university students, Jobbik was eventually founded as a political party in October 2003.[third-party source needed] Instrumental in this was the person of Gergely Pongrátz, who in a speech to the founding conference made reference to the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.[third-party source needed]
Around Christmas 2003, Jobbik started a nationwide cross-erecting action to remind Hungarians of the "true meaning" of the holiday. The move was disapproved by several Christian intellectual groups.
Even though the far-right Hungarian Justice and Life Party (MIÉP) and Jobbik had publicly shown their mutual aversion beforehand, both parties entered an electoral alliance for the 2006 national elections, called the MIÉP–Jobbik Third Way Alliance of Parties. Its intention was seen as winning votes from the major conservative Fidesz party.
In the 2006 Hungarian national elections the alliance won only 2.2% of the votes. Therefore, Jobbik termed the alliance a failure and virtually broke it up. In 2009 the State Audit Office (ÁSZ) reported the alliance for grave breaches of accounting rules. Jobbik blamed MIÉP alone for the irregularities.
Growth and electoral success
The party faced its first electoral test with the coming of the 2009 European parliamentary elections. The election’s results shocked their opponents: with the party sending three MEPs to Strasbourg; coming close to equal in number of votes with the governing Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) while eliminating their liberal coalition partner Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ), to become the nation’s third largest party.
Issues and ideology
The Movement for a Better Hungary more commonly goes under its abbreviated name Jobbik (pronounced [ˈjobbik]), which is in fact a play on words. The word Jobb in Hungarian has two meanings, the adjective for “better” and the direction “right”; the comparative Jobbik therefore means both “the more preferable choice” and “more to the right”. This is similar to the English phrase "right choice", which could mean both "a choice on the right side of the political spectrum" and "a correct choice".
The meaning of the party’s 2009 election slogan “Hungary belongs to the Hungarians” (Magyarország a Magyaroké!) was also the subject of considerable scrutiny. Some critics thought the slogan essentially tautological, while others were sufficiently concerned to mount a successful complaint at the National Electoral Commission; which ruled it “unconstitutional” on the very eve of the election.
Jobbik rejects the common classification of the political spectrum in left and right. It prefers a distinction of political parties based on their stance towards globalisation. On this scheme, the party sees itself as patriotic. The party also rejects the term 'far-right', and instead labels itself as 'radical right-wing'. It has also criticised media companies for labelling them as 'far-right' and has threatened to take action towards those who do.
Jobbik's ideology has been described as right-wing populism, whose strategy “relies on a combination of ethno-nationalism with anti-elitist populist rhetoric and a radical critique of existing political institutions.
Jobbik's Greater Hungarian irredentist claims can be found in pleas for cross-border ethnic self-determination. For example, the party demands "territorial autonomy" for the Székely Land in Romania and desires to make Transcarpathian Ukraine an independent Hungarian district.
Jobbik rejects the globalised capitalism, and the influence of foreign investors in Hungary. Jobbik specifically opposes Israeli and Jewish investment in Hungary. On 4 May 2013, protesting the World Jewish Congress's choice to locate their 2013 congress in Budapest, party chairman Gabor Vona said, "The Israeli conquerors, these investors, should look for another country in the world for themselves because Hungary is not for sale."
||This article's Criticism or Controversy section may compromise the article's neutral point of view of the subject. (March 2013)|
The Hungarian Guard
In June 2007 president Vona, supported by the party, founded and registered the organisation called Magyar Gárda, which says in its deed of foundation that it intends to become “part or core” of the national guard to be set up in accordance with the Bethlen Gábor programme, and it also wishes to participate actively “in strengthening national self-defence” and “maintaining public order” as well as supporting and organising social and charity missions, in disaster prevention and civil defence. The foundation of the Guard was accompanied by sharp political debate.
On 10 March 2008 three leading figures resigned from the party: Dávid Kovács, the founding president of the party, Ervin Nagy, committee chairman, and Márton Fári, former chairman of the party’s ethical committee. They indicated the Hungarian Guard as the cause of their resignation, stating that "Jobbik has been merged inseparably with the Guard, taking responsibility for something that it cannot really control in the long run".
On 2 July 2009 the Metropolitan Court of Appeal (Fővárosi Ítélőtábla) disbanded the Hungarian Guard Movement because the court held that the activities of the organization were against the human rights of minorities as guaranteed by the Hungarian Constitution. The Guard has attempted to reorganize itself as a civil service association, known as the Magyar Gárda Foundation, engaged in cultural and nation building activities rather than politics. Its renewed activities are opposed by the Hungarian authorities and prosecutors claim that the founding of the new organization is in contempt of previous court rulings.
Allegations of racism
The party has strenuously denied allegations of anti-semitism or racism, as being either politically motivated or simply false. It has also dismissed the criticism of perceived anti-semitism, racism and homophobia as the "favourite topics" of an "ignorant and misled" European Union. Even so, the movement has been accused of playing on those fears. Jobbik has also been linked to homophobic incidents in Budapest. In London on 16 May 2008 the delegation of Jobbik's Committee of Foreign Affairs met Nick Griffin, chairman of the British National Party. They discussed cooperation between the two parties, and the elections for the European Parliament. Griffin spoke at the party rally in August 2008, while former vice-president Zoltan Füzessy is presently resident in Gravesend, Kent, England. During November 2012 Marton Gyöngyösi, a Jobbik parliamentarian called for the creation of the Jewish list which would according to him include "all dangerous Jews who are posing threat to Hungarian national security" In video speech posted on Jobbik website Gyöngyösi said "I think such a conflict makes it timely to tally up people of Jewish ancestry who live here, especially in the Hungarian Parliament and the Hungarian government, who, indeed, pose a national security risk to Hungary." Jewish organization responded to Gyöngyösi speech by describing it as a reintroduction of Nazism in Hungarian parliament and by describing Jobbik as a Nazi party.
On the eve of the 2009 elections to the European parliament, a comment was posted on an unofficial and unverified Hungarian political internet forum, allegedly in the name of Prof. Krisztina Morvai, who then headed the party’s electoral list. Addressing their remarks to Hungarian Jews the comment poster stated that they “would be glad if the so-called proud Hungarian Jews went back to playing with their tiny circumcised dicks instead of vilifying me.” News of this comment, which has been roundly condemned, spread rapidly around the world and eventually even featured in an article by The Economist. Morvai’s critics have pointed to her refusal to even discuss the issue, let alone deny it; implying that this is sufficient to unquestioningly ascribe authorship of the remarks to her.
Her supporters however, claim that though she certainly has a record of being critical of the state of Israel given a sympathy for the Palestinian cause she developed while working as an international human rights lawyer, the idea of Morvai being an anti-Semite is "simply ridiculous," given that at the time of her alleged remarks she was married to a Hungarian of Jewish origin, with whom she has three children, but from whom she is now separated.
In a newsletter published by a group calling itself The trade union of Hungarian police officers prepared for action, the following was allegedly printed: "Given our current situation, anti-Semitism is not just our right, but it is the duty of every Hungarian homeland lover, and we must prepare for armed battle against the Jews." The editor of the union, Judit Szima, is a Jobbik candidate in the upcoming election for the European Union parliament. Haaretz alleged Szima "didn't see anything wrong with the content of the article."
During spring 2012, Jobbik representative in Hungarian parliament Zsolt Baráth caused an outrage by commemorating 1882 blood libel against the Jews in Parliament. The Tiszaeszlár blood libel, found later to be unrelated to Jews, was known as first major anti-Jewish event in modern Hungary, predating the Holocaust.
In November 2012 Márton Gyöngyösi, a member of Jobbik, advised the government to draw up lists of Jewish politicians in the Hungarian Parliament who pose a "national security risk". As Al Jazeera reported, this led to "international condemnation of Nazi-style policies and a protest outside the legislature in Budapest. Around ten thousand Hungarians in Budapest protested against the anti-Semitic remarks of Jobbik leader. All major Hungarian political parties took part in the protest. At the protest, Attila Mesterházy the leader of Hungarian Socialist Party described Jobbik as "fascist possessions virus" while Antal Rogán, representing the governing conservative Fidesz party, described Jobbik as "evil".
For the Hungarian Parliament:
|Elections||Number of votes (1st round)||Percentage of votes (1st round)||Number of votes (2nd round)||Percetage of votes (2nd round)||Number of seats||Percentage of seats||Role played in Parliament|
For the European Parliament:
|Elections||Number of votes||Percentage of votes||Placing (nationally)||Number of seats||Group in the European Parliament||Subgroup in the European Parliament|
|2009||427,773||14.77%||3rd||3||Non-Attached Members||Non-Attached Members|
- † 2009 Seat winners:
|This section requires expansion. (August 2009)|
- Békésszentandrás - Imre Sinka (since 2010 as an independent, since 2012 as a Jobbik-member)
- Hencida - László Szémán (since 2010)
- Hegyháthodász - Roland Dervalics (since 2010)
- Monorierdő - Béla Szente (since 2013)
- Tiszavasvári - Erik Fülöp (since 2010, re-elected in 2012)
- Gyöngyöspata - Oszkár Juhász (since 2011)
- Kosd - Ferenc Kurdi (since 2012)
- Nationalist Jobbik Party Doubles Voter Base In Hungary, xpatloop.com, 2009-06-25
- The political effects of the European elections, budapestanalyses.hu, 2009-06-11
- Jobbik signs agreements with other European nationalist groups, Politics.hu (source: MTI), 2009-10-26, "Hungary's radical nationalist Jobbik party signed an agreement with four international parties to set up the Alliance of European Nationalist Movements, Jobbik deputy leader Andras Balczo said on Saturday."
- Radical nationalist Jobbik for toppling Trianon borders, says MEP, The Budapest Times, 2009-06-14, "Hungary's radical nationalist Jobbik party plans to fight for the toppling of borders set by the 1920 Trianon treaty, newly elected MEP Csanad Szegedi said at the memorial meeting."
- Huggan, Graham; Law, Ian (2009). Racism Postcolonialism Europe. Liverpool University Press.
- Schori Liang, Christina (2007). Europe for the Europeans: The Foreign and Security Policy of the Populist Radical Right. Ashgate.
- Kirton, Gill; Greene, Anne-Marie (2010). The Dynamics of Managing Diversity: A Critical Approach (3rd ed.). Butterworth-Heinemann.
- "Jobbik confident of winning EP seat, party leader says". politics.hu (source: MTI). 2009-05-13. "Jobbik describes itself as “a principled, conservative and radically patriotic Christian party. Its fundamental purpose is protecting Hungarian values and interests.”"
- LeBor, Adam (2009-06-09). "Jobbik: Meet the BNP's fascist friends in Hungary". London: The Times Online. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
- Chomsky, Noam (2011-04-21) Is the world too big to fail?, Salon.com
- "Jobbik Deputy Campaigns Against 'Israeli' MP - Jewish World - News". Israel National News. 2012-11-30. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- "Hungarians despair of political class". BBC News. 8 January 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
- "Xpat Opinion: Will Hungary's Jobbik Split? - Xpatloop.com - Expat Life In Budapest, Hungary - Current affairs". Xpatloop.com. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- Freeman, Colin (2009-05-24). "Feminine face of Hungary's far-Right Jobbik movement seeks MEP's seat". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-06-07.
- "2012 Report on Global Trends in Anti-Semitism". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- Chebel d’Appollonia, Ariane (2012), Frontiers of Fear: Immigration and Insecurity in the United States and Europe, Cornell University Press, p. 245
- Lisiak, Agata Anna (2010), Urban Cultures in (Post) Colonial Central Europe, Purdue University Press, p. 18
- Miért alakult meg a Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom-párt (Why was the Movement for a Better Hungary founded?), zuglo.jobbik.hu (Hungarian), 2008-06-01
- Pongrácz, Gergely (2003-10-24), Pongrátz Gergely megható beszéde a Jobbik alakuló gyűlésén (Gergely Pongrácz’s moving speech to the Jobbik founding conference), youtube.com (Hungarian @ 6:25), "The torch is now falling from our hands, it is you who must take it up, that spirit, those values, for which so many brother-in-arms died in ’56. It is you who must take it onwards. (A fáklya kiesik a kezünkből, nektek kel átvenni, azt a szellemiséget, azokat az eszméket, amiért 56-ba olyan sok bajtársuk halt meg. Nektek kell tovább vinni.)"
- Szilágyi, Tamás (2008). "Sacred Characteristics of the Nation: "Hungarianism" as Political Religion?" (PDF). revacern.eu. "The other case, which drew the attention of the public, is the country‐wide cross erecting “actions” of JOBBIK Party during Christmas, which started in 2003... Several Christian intellectual groups have disapproved these actions; however, no clear objection appeared from the churches against the political appropriation of the religious symbol."
- "The nationalist Right Gets Together: "Third way" platform". hvg. 2005-10-17.
- Prosecutors target Jobbik-MIÉP 2006 election vehicle, Politics.hu, 2009-08-19
- Balogh, Eva (2009-06-07). "European parliamentary elections: Hungary". Hungarian Spectrum.
- "Results of the 2009 European elections: Hungary". [www.europarl.europa.eu] (English). 2009-07-08.
- Heltai-Hopp, András (2009-06-05), Big players fight domestic battle in EP election, The Budapest Times
- EP elections - Hungary elections committee finds radical Jobbik's slogan unconstitutional, The Budapest Times, 2009-06-04
- Leigh Phillips (2010-04-19). "EUobserver / A far-right for the Facebook generation: The rise and rise of Jobbik". Euobserver.com. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
- "Nem nevezhetik szélsőjobboldalinak a Jobbikot a hírműsorok | alfahir.hu - A domináns hírportál". alfahir.hu. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- Betz, Hans-Georg (1994). Radical Right-Wing Populism in Western Europe (The New Politics of Resentment). Palgrave MacMillan. p. 4. ISBN 0-312-08390-4. "the majority of radical right-wing populist parties are radical in their rejection of the established socio-cultural and socio-political system"
- Albertazzi, Daniele (2007). Radical Twenty-First Century Populism: The Spectre of Western European Democracy. Palgrave MacMillan. ISBN 0-230-01349-X.
- "Jobbik MEPs to fight for pre-Trianon borders". Politics.hu (MTI). 2009-06-15. "Jobbik will demand territorial autonomy for Szekler land in Romania and will also press for Transcarpathia in Ukraine to become an independent Hungarian district, Szegedi said."
- Jobbik stages demonstration against banks, "foreign speculative capital", politics.hu, 2009-08-04
- "Jobbik rally against World Jewish Congress in Budapest". BBC News. 4 May 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
- Inder Singh, Anita (2000). Democracy, ethnic diversity, and security in post-communist Europe. Central European University Press. p. 97. ISBN 0-275-97258-5. "[including the nations of the former Soviet Union] Magyar and Russian minorities are the largest minority groups in Europe, about one-tenth of all Russians and a quarter of Magyars live outside Russia and Hungary respectively."
- Molnar, A Concise History of Hungary, p. 262 online; Richard C. Frucht, Eastern Europe: An Introduction to the People, Lands, and Culture p. 359-360 online)
- Police investigate "new" Magyar Gárda
- "Erősíteni kell a nemzettudatot". Naplo-online.hu. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
- LeBor, Adam (2009-06-09), Jobbik: Meet the BNP's fascist friends in Hungary, London: timesonline.co.uk, "Jobbik strongly denies that it is anti-Semitic and has condemned the Holocaust. “We are not against anyone, just for Hungary,” its leaders say."
- Stancil, Jordan (2009-06-12), Jobbik Rising, thenation.com, "Jobbik denies accusations of racism or anti-Semitism"
- Racist Violence Flares In Central And E.Europe, javno.com, 2008-11-21
- Moore, Matthew (2008-11-10), Hungarian extremist running far-right website from UK, London: telegraph.co.uk, "When confronted at his home by the newspaper, Mr Fuzessy insisted he was not claiming benefits in the UK and denied Jobbik was fascist. “My party is radical but it is patriotic, not nationalist,” he said. “Millions in Hungary support us. Those who call us Nazis are just communists.”"
- "Jobbik confident of winning EP seat, party leader says". politics.hu (source: MTI). 2009-05-13. "The party is embroiled in legal action against the liberal Free Democrats, which recently branded the party as “Neo-Nazi”, a label which Jobbik vigorously denies."
- Gergely, Andras (2007-03-22), Che's the man for Hungary's young Socialists, reuters.com
- Freeman, Colin (2009-05-24). "Feminine face of Hungary's far-Right Jobbik movement seeks MEP's seat". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-06-07. "Like her party, Dr Morvai denies being anti-Semitic, homophobic, or racist in any way, dismissing such criticisms as the "favourite topics" of an "ignorant and misled" European Union. But magazines supportive of her party’s aims openly play on such fears. One publication available at the venue of a Jobbik press conference last week contained an item entitled “Who decides?” on Hungary’s future. The non-Jobbik options were either a dreadlocked Jew, a pair of naked homosexuals, or a dark-skinned thug."
- "Homophobia in Hungary". The Yale Globalist. 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2009-08-27.[dead link]
- "Hungarian homophobic party launches paramilitary wing". Pink News. 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2009-08-27.
- Wells, Tom (2008-11-10). "Top Euro Nazi’s hate site run from terraced house ... in Gravesend". London: The Sun. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
- "Hungary: Far-right leader demands lists of Jews - Israel News, Ynetnews". Ynetnews.com. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- "Hírek - Nyílt nácizmus a Parlament falai között". zsido.com. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- Hodgson, Robert (2007-08-17), Jobbik nationalist, but not violent: Vona, budapesttimes.hu
- Szabó, Gábor (2009-07-15). "Counsel of Dictatorship Smells Blood". Jobbik.com. "Jobbik finds the comments of former minister Peter Barandy who called for special consideration to disband the party of Jobbik that enjoys a popular support of 15%, astonishing and contrary to elementary democratic values."
- LeBor, Adam (2008-Spring). "Marching Back to the Future: Magyar Garda and the Resurgence of the Right in Hungary". Dissent. "Vona rejects violence, and there is no evidence that Garda members have been involved in violence."
- Hungary Around the Clock (2009-06-05). "Outrage over obscene anti-Semitic Internet post by Morvai".
- Lahav, Yehuda (2009-06-07). "'Hungarian Jews should stick to playing with their circumcised tails'". Haaretz.
- Traynor, Ian (2009-06-07). "Rightwingers set to wipe out leaders of Hungarian revolution". London: The Guardian.
- Holland, Adam (2009-07-12), Hungarian fascists redux, adamholland.blogspot.com
- Hungary - Obscene antisemitic internet post by Morvai, The Coordinating Forum for Countering Antisemitism, 2009-06-07
- Steyn, Mark (2009-06-18), Mark Steyn on why the fascists are winning in Europe, macleans.ca
- Hungary’s opposition: A nasty party, The Economist, 2009-06-18
- Anti-semitism, Hungarian style, wonderland.cafebabel.com, 2009-07-06
- Newman, Cathy (2009-07-09), BNP's Griffin: Islam is a cancer, Channel 4 News (Video)
- Spritzer, Dinah (2009-06-09), Tough times drive European voters to far right, Jewish Telegraphic Agency
- Krisztina Morvai Accuses Israel Of War Crimes, mathaba.net, 2009-01-29
- Women’s Anti-Discrimination Committee Voices Concern about Inequalities among Ethnic Groups, as It Takes up Israel’s Report, United Nations Information Service, 2005-07-13
- http://www.regard-est.com/home/breve_contenu.php?id=1029&PHPSESSID=2f6df79824320b084d53758b2d58ff0f (French)
- Please accept our apologies for somehow never mentioning that Hungary's terrifying new "Nazi" leader is happily married to a Jew, Political Pest, 2009-06-03
- Lahav, Yehuda (2009-06-06). "'Proud Hungarians must prepare for war against the Jews'". Haaretz. Retrieved 2009-06-07.
- Written by FreeHungary (2012-08-08). "Discovering Jewish roots – former anti-Semitic party leader meets with rabbi Köves". Freehungary.hu. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- "Hungarian MP denounced for 'Jewish list' call - Europe". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- Than, Krisztina. "Thousands rally against far right in Hungary". Reuters. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- "A szélsőjobboldal egy vírus amit karanténba kell zárni – Harcias hangulat a budapesti antifasiszta tüntetésen". Kanadaihirlap.com. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
- "BBC News - "Jobbik rally against World Jewish Congress in Budapest"". 4 May 2013.
- "Fidesz dominates as Jobbik nears 15% of popular vote". Politics.hu. 2009-06-07. Retrieved 2009-06-08. "The ruling Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) won four seats, the radical nationalist Jobbik, a non-parliamentary force, three seats, and the conservative opposition Democratic Forum one seat, OVB head Emilia Rytko said."
- 2010 municipal election results in Békésszentandrás
- Jobbikos lett a békésszentandrási polgármester
- 2010 municipal election results in Hencida
- 2010 municipal election results in Hegyháthodász
- Győzött a Jobbik Monorierdőn
- 2012 municipal election results in Tiszavasvári
- 2012 municipal election results in Tiszavasvári
- 2011 municipal election results in Gyöngyöspata
- 2012 municipal election results in Kosd
- Official website (Hungarian)
- Official website (English)
- Electoral Manifesto (English)
- Changing of the Garda An article in The Economist about the Hungarian far right
- Deed of Foundation (Hungarian)
- "Third way" platform: The nationalist right gets together (HVG)