Trump adviser with alleged far-right Hungarian ties to speak at Jerusalem Post conference
Apr 21, 2017
(JTA) — Sebastian Gorka, an adviser to President Donald Trump accused of belonging to a far-right Hungarian nationalist group, will speak at a conference organized by The Jerusalem Post.
On Thursday, The Jerusalem Post announced that Gorka, a former right-wing nationalist politician in Hungary, would be speaking at its annual conference on May 7 in New York. The conference features speeches by Israeli politicians, Post writers and other public figures.
In a statement Friday to JTA, The Jerusalem Post said it had asked the White House for a senior member of the administration to address the conference and sent a range of suggested officials, including Gorka. The White House approved Gorka, a counterterrorism adviser.
The Post’s statement called him “one of many interesting speakers” who will appear at the conference and said “we look forward to hearing from him on Israeli-US relations as well as his views on various issues.” It did not address allegations that he is a member of Historical Vitézi Rend, a namesake of Vitézi Rend, a defunct order of merit that had existed as a state entity for 20 years until 1944 under the rule of Miklos Horthy, Hungary’s Nazi-allied leader. The Forward quoted leaders of the Historical Vitézi Rend saying Gorka is a member.
Vitézi Rend was disbanded, outlawed and ceased to exist in the 1940s following the World War II defeat of Nazi Germany. Gorka denied the Forward report and denies being a fascist or anti-Semite.
Current or former government officials have addressed previous Jerusalem Post conferences. Dennis Ross, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, spoke last year. In 2015, the event featured a speech by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.
In addition to Gorka, this year’s conference will feature Israeli Cabinet members including Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, as well as opposition leader Isaac Herzog, the Labor party chairman. U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., will also appear.