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Jobbik also won three seats in the European Parliament.

Before Mr. Kumin even arrived in Washington, a Jobbik politician was stirring up anti-Jewish sentiments in Budapest.

Marton Gyongyosi, speaking in parliament on Nov. 26, called on the government to screen Jews for security threats.

He said the time has come “to assess how many people of Jewish origin there are here, and especially in the Hungarian parliament and the Hungarian government, who represent a certain national security risk.”

Mr. Gyongyosi later apologized but warned that Hungary still needs to be on guard against “Zionist Israel and those serving it from here.”

About 550,000 Hungarian Jews were killed in the Holocaust, and the Jewish population today is about 100,000.

On Sunday, more than 10,000 people rallied in Budapest to protest Mr. Gyongyosi’s remarks.

The prime minister this week denounced Mr. Gyongyosi as a “radical nationalist.”

“As long as I am in this post, no one in Hungary will be harmed because of their faith, convictions or origin,” Mr. Orban said. “I would like to make it clear that we Hungarians will protect our Jewish compatriots.”

At the luncheon at the embassy, the ambassador also complained about unfair press coverage of the new media law. Mr. Szapary said the law carries no fines, applies only to the electronic media and only requires balanced reporting.

Mr. Kumin said the weight of the criticism about the new constitution and efforts to link the conservative Fidesz party with the extremist Jobbick movement makes his job even more difficult.

But, he added, “this is the political landscape.”

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email The column is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.