Radical nationalist Jobbik party leader Gabor Vona said on Friday that he was prepared to conduct a public debate with Slomo Koves, head of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation, on anti-Semitism.
Koves spoke about the need to launch a consultation between Hungarian society and Jewish organisations on ways to combat anti-Semitism.
“Jobbik has never had and will never have any programme point, proposal or idea which discriminates between Hungary’s inhabitants on the grounds of ethnicity and religion,” Vona said.
He added that Jobbik had become exposed to a “coordinated slander campaign” to portray the party as an anti-Semitic, racist, extremist force in order to prevent it from putting up a challenge to ruling party Fidesz in the next elections.
The debate with Koves will offer a good chance to clarify “who has an interest in floating the issue of anti-Semitism in Hungary,” and making it clear that neither Jobbik, not its programme, is anti-Semitic; only “pro-Hungarian”, he said.