The old-school anti-Semitism of Hungary's far right

A senior member of Hungary's far right Jobbik country thinks it's about time the country started keeping better track of its Jews:

Gyongyosi, who leads Jobbik's foreign policy cabinet, told Parliament: "I know how many people with Hungarian ancestry live in Israel, and how many Israeli Jews live in Hungary," according to a video posted on Jobbik's website late on Monday.

"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."

Rhetoric like this in a country where more than half a million Jews were killed during the Holocaust are obviously disturbing. But what makes this more interesting than just another "European far-right politician says offensive thing" story, is that Jobbik's old-fashioned anti-Semitism puts it at odds with the direction other European far-right groups are heading. In much of Western Europe, at least, far-right leaders have been attempting to distance their parties from their past hostility to Jews -- and even praising Israel -- as they shift focus to fears of immigration and Islam. 

The Netherlands' Geert Wilders, a staunch supporter of Israel, which he sees as "fighting our war"  against Islam and "the only democracy in a dark and tyrannical region" was something of a trend-setter in this regard. France's Marine Le Pen has tried to make ammends for her father's hostility to Jews and Holocaust denial by purging outspoken anti-Semites from her party's ranks. (Israel's ambassador to the United Nations was criticized last year for appearing in a photo with Le Pen.) Even the infamous British National Party has attempted -- with minimal success -- to woo Jewish voters by playing up fears of Islamic immigration.

While these outreach efforts have met with little success -- it's probably going to take a lot more than a PR campaign to get European Jews on board with far-right parties -- renouncing anti-Semitism and praising Israel can be a way to deflect charges of bigotry while they keep up their attacks on Islam.

Jobbik --  not to mention Greece's Golden Dawn, whose spokesman reportedly read passages from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion during a parliament meeting -- evidently haven't gotten the memo.



The Onion strikes again: Kim Jong Un's too sexy for parody

The People's Daily Online, the internet mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, has decided to take the Onion at its word. After the satirical American paper annointed North Korean President Kim Jong Un as this year's sexiest man alive  for his "devestatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, the People's Daily ran a 55-page slideshow featuring photos of the leader. Here's Kim rubbing a nurse's cheek. Here's Kim holding a baby in front of a crying woman. Here's Kim clapping in front of other clapping people. And so on...

This isn't the first time the Onion has been taken as news. In September Iran's official FARS News Agency plagiarized a story from the satirical newspaper entitled "Gallup Poll: Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama." And the Beijing newspaper Evening News once sourced the Onion on a story reporting that U.S. Congresspeople demanded a Capitol Building with more concession stands and a retractable roof. 

Other Chinese media outlets have realized that The Onion is a satirical newspaper. Six days ago Pheonix Online Fashion, part of the Chinese Pheonix Media conglomerate, published an article mentioning that Chinese netizens have been joking that "power is an aphordisiac."

But the People's Daily Online, in both its English and Chinese websites, seemed to miss the joke. The Onion updated its original post with the message: "For more coverage on The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive 2012, Kim Jong-Un, please visit our friends at the People's Daily in China, a proud Communist subsidiary of The Onion, Inc. Exemplary reportage, comrades."

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