'Hungarian Jews Should Stick to Playing With Their Circumcised Tails'

So says a letter written by Hungarian candidate for European parliament on the far-right Jobbik list.

Yehuda Lahav
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Yehuda Lahav

The last day of voting was underway on Sunday for the European Parliament election, and in Hungary, the conservative right-wing party Fidesz was expected to win by a solid lead.

However, the real question in this election was whether or not the extreme rightist party Jobbik would gain the necessary 5 percent of the vote to achieve representation in the EU parliament.

Topping the Jobbik list is Krisztina Morvai, who sparked controversy several days ago when she responded to criticism in a letter saying "I would be glad if the so-called proud Hungarian Jews would go back to playing with their tiny little circumcised tail rather than vilifying me."

This statement and the spirit in which it was written were widely condemned by a host of professors at the university where Morvai is a lecturer. Former Hungarian foreign minister Dr. Géza Jeszenszky said that with this statement, Morvai "removed herself from public life" and that her comments were inappropriate for a public figure and for a woman in general.

The spokesman for the Fidesz party Robert Repassi described Morvai as "inconceivable and anti-Semitic," and voiced hope that she would issue an apology. The apology never came.

Director of the Alliance of Hungarian Jewish Communities Gustav Zoltai remarked that comments such as Morvai's should rule out anyone who aspires to be a representative in the European parliament, adding that "she'd be better off not advertising her vast experience with what she calls 'tiny little circumcised tails'."

Even though Morvai's statement drew extensive criticism and general condemnation, experts say that Jobbik's chances of achieving representation are relatively good, perhaps thanks to the party's "wild" outspoken style which may appeal to the more primitive elements within Hungarian society.

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