(JNS.org) The head of an international anti-Semitism watchdog organization is calling on reportedly departing White House adviser Sebastian Gorka to renounce the ideology behind a controversial Hungarian group he is associated with, ahead of Gorka's planned public appearance in New York City.
Gorka was invited to speak at the Jerusalem Post newspaper’s annual conference May 7 in New York. Reports emerged Sunday that Gorka would be removed from his White House post, possibly for a role within a federal agency.
In January, when attending President Donald Trump's inauguration, Gorka wore a medal awarded to his father by the Vitezi Rend, a Hungarian organization associated with extreme nationalism, fascism and anti-Semitism, noted Dr. Charles Asher Small, director of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP).
Gorka has stated repeatedly he has never been a member of Vitezi Rend.
“While Mr. Gorka denies membership in the Vitezi Rend, ISGAP calls on him to distance himself clearly from the ideology of the Vitezi Rend, its extreme nationalist history and its association with genocidal anti-Semitism that led to the extermination of innocent Jewish men, women and children,” Small said Monday. “It is not enough to simply assert that he was never a member nor pledge allegiance to this organization."
He added, “With the resurgence of anti-Semitism, as well as xenophobia, extreme nationalism throughout much of Europe, and the war against reactionary social movements, Mr. Gorka must speak with clarity on this matter, and distance himself from this repugnant ideology that is once again resurfacing in his native Hungary. Mr. Gorka's position...is too important for him to remain ambiguous about this critical personal issue.”
According to ISGAP, leading members of Vitezi Rend—which was outlawed after the 1945 liberation of Hungary, and declared by the U.S. government as being under the direction of the Nazis—played a central role in the ghettoization of the Hungarian Jewish community and the deportation of more than 400,000 Hungarian Jews from May-July 1944. This resulted in the extermination of hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews towards the end of the Holocaust.
In advance of Gorka’s speech, ISGAP is also calling on the Jerusalem Post “to make certain that he has renounced Vitezi Rend and its ideology of hate,” Small stated.