Home > Uncategorized > Anti-Semitism in Hungary and hopeful signs to combat it

Anti-Semitism in Hungary and hopeful signs to combat it

June 13, 2012

On March 21 the Hungarian media reported widely on the results of an international survey on anti-Semitism. The study was conducted in ten European countries by the Anti-Defamation League, an American Jewish organization. The general conclusion is that anti-Semitism is more prevalent in Europe than in the United States and, as MTI reported, it is “alarmingly high” in Hungary, Spain, and Poland.

The degree of anti-Semitism in Hungary, Spain, and Poland is high enough to demand “serious answers from the political, civic, and religious leaders” of these countries. Hungary has the dubious distinction of having the highest degree of antisemitism at 63%, while in 2009 the same organization reported only 47%.  In Spain the result was 53% and in Poland 48%. More details can be found at ADL’s website and in NépszabadságIn the last three years the growth of anti-Semitism has been enormous.

The spread of anti-Semitism in Hungary cannot be separated from the existence of an openly anti-Semitic party in the Hungarian parliament. Moreover, Hungarians who are inclined toward an anti-Semitic bias see that Fidesz-KDNP–the government parties–openly cooperate with Jobbik. This Hungarian neo-Nazi party’s MPs deliver speeches in the Hungarian parliament with anti-Semitic overtones. The first one by Tamás Gaudy-Nagy was veiled, but since then there have been several more open outbursts by other Jobbik MPs.

I wrote about the the case of the theater in Eger where a certain actor was banned because the local Fidesz leaders didn’t like his politics and because he was “a filthy Jew.” Mazsihiz, the Hungarian Jewish umbrella organization, not only protested but also went to the police to initiate proceedings against the town of Eger.

A few days later, as “payback” for Péter Dániel’s action against a newly erected Miklós Horthy statue, far-right sympathizers hung pigs’ feet on Raoul Wallenberg’s statue in Budapest. The police found the culprits within a few hours. Three days later, on May 25, anti-Semitic slogans were painted on the Holocaust Memorial: “This is not your country, filthy Jews!” and there were others promising execution and the drowning of Jewish Hungarians in the Danube just as in late 1944 under Ferenc Szálasi’s rule.

At this point Fidesz released a communiqué in which the party’s spokesman said that Fidesz “condemns all extremism … and political provocations because it is obvious that extremists only reinforce each other.” This message was anything but forceful.

Only about two weeks after this incident Rabbi József Schweitzer encountered a man who verbally assaulted him. At this point the government “expressly condemned the incident.” In the statement the government repeated its earlier condemnation of all “extreme acts” and promised “to defend all citizens from such attacks.” Religious leaders also expressed their concern. The new president, János Áder, went so far as to pay a private visit to the Schweitzers.

Jobbik naturally didn’t condemn any of the anti-Semitic incidents. On the contrary, on June 6 Ádám Mirkóczki, a Jobbik member of parliament, found it “horrifying that just because allegedly a stranger insulted Schweitzer within a few minutes the leaders of the historic churches issue a joint declaration and the government publishes a communiqué against a phantom.” According to Mirkóczki, the Hungarian government instead should pay more attention to the grievances of Hungarian minorities in the neighboring countries.

Two days ago there was another anti-Semitic incident in Nagykanizsa. This time a memorial depicting a Menora was damaged. All seven candles were broken off. The police are investigating.

But there is a good piece of news. Today a young man received an 18-month suspended sentence because of Holocaust denial. This is a first in Hungary.

I think it is worth mentioning that until now the Hungarian public was blissfully ignorant of the whole case. Or at least I found no sign of it in either the Hungarian media or the archives of MTI. But, as we found out today, György N. on October 23, 2011, at an anti-government demonstration held up a Hebrew-language sign claiming that the “Holocaust didn’t happen.” It seems that György N. is a busy fellow who by now is quite well known to the police. Only two days ago in another case he and an accomplice of his were sentenced to community service for throwing eggs at Gábor Demszky, mayor of Budapest between 1990 and 2010, while he was delivering his customary speech in front of the statue of Sándor Petőfi on March 15, 2010.

What I especially appreciated in the judgment of the court in the Holocaust denial case was that the culprit not only received a suspended sentence but he is also required to visit the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest at least three times and summarize his reactions in an essay. Alternatively, he can make a pilgrimage to Auschwitz or go to Jerusalem and visit the Yad Vashem Museum. In addition, he is forbidden to join political meetings and demonstrations.

The Holocaust Memorial Center that György N. is supposed to visit three times

János Ádler after the Schweitzer incident noted that ” it is not enough to cry out against” such incidents. The courts must act as this wise judge did in the case of György N. Moreover, the schools have to do more than stage Holocaust days full of pro forma speeches. Just as history teachers should set students straight on Trianon. Today’s youngsters who are drawn to the ideas of the extreme right lack the most basic knowledge of the recent past. And without it, it is easy to get lost and end up in the gutters of political thought.

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  1. Mutt Damon
    June 14, 2012 at 6:56 pm | #1

    Ovidiu,

    Ok, you seem to understand your own analogies than other’s so let me use yours.

    Suicide is bad. Now you want to know why was the person unhappy because if we figure that out why we maybe able to stop people killing themselves. My view is this: they will be unhappy no matter what, but the question is why they don’t have the ability to “control” it? Why the tendency for the extreme solution?

  2. petofi
    June 14, 2012 at 10:46 pm | #2

    What’s happening here? I can only access one comment….?

  3. Julius Moni
    June 15, 2012 at 12:07 am | #3

    To Paul, ”
    For instance, the most frequent targets of anti-Semitic remarks are “the international Jewish conspiracy” or “the Jewish companies that are sucking the wealth out of Hungary – or buying up all the land in Hungary”, or often it’s simple “Israel” that is seen as the threat.”

    As you know by now I am not exactly an intellectual heavy weight, but I can proudly say that God blessed me with the famous Hungarian twisted mind (you know the one Orban so often talks about), so may I analyze your above comments please:

    1/ I am convinced that your comments are hypnotic suggestions. (about 20000 readers here) and I am sure that most of the Jewish readers here can see it as one.
    (Years ago we had a similar fall out re: Hungarian Goulash)

    2/ I can not be believe that any husband would discuss his wife and his family on the net, especially NOT when they are anti-Semites.

    So, Paul dearest, what’s your angle?

  4. enufff
    June 15, 2012 at 1:04 am | #4

    I hope this judgement is effective to teach György N. about Holocaust. It might be useful to send him for anger management .
    ——-

    Re “Just read about Poland and Ukraine. The Nazi salutes, monkey chants and beatings of Asians after the soccer matches. Welcome to Eastern Europe. The inferiority complex is under our skin. ”

    The BBC documentary on the subject shocked me. These hooligans treat non-whites as trash! More shocking to me was no body in the stadium helped when the Asians were beaten up like punch bag. I have tears watching it.
    Monkey chanting at the black football players, the authority just turn a blind eye.
    If you don’t chant you’re a Jew, if you don’t clap, you’re a Jew..

    Ever since I watched the documentary, I have been asking myself, what the heck is going on in “civilised” Europe which this group of people could exist ?

  5. Ovidiu
    June 15, 2012 at 2:05 am | #5

    enufff :
    what the heck is going on in “civilised” Europe which this group of people could exist ?

    About football hooliganism and its ethnic, racial and political themes you can read here

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_hooliganism

    It is a pan-European phenomenon, nothing special about Est-Europe (Ukraine, Poland), since countries as France, Italy, UK or Netherlands have plenty of it themselves.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4115438,00.html

  6. CharlieH
    June 15, 2012 at 3:36 am | #6

    London Calling!

    Ovidiu

    I withdrew from the debate when I realised you were raising straw men just for the sake of knocking them down.

    You also assume you have the monopoly on intellectual rigour and your supercilious resorting to humourless insults have not progressed the debate one jot.

    For me ‘Thomas’ trumped the debate by simply describing anti-Semitism for what it is – and that was what I was trying to do. Just simple hate of the Jews, because they are Jews.

    If you conflate that with Racism, Xenophobia, Religious Bigotry, Ignorance, Hate and Thuggery – then it will just end in analysis paralysis. And you can analyse what drives things to your heart’s content.

    I see you are now embracing Mutt’s suicide allegory.

    You’ve missed out ‘Dentistry’.

    And yet, I wonder, is this part of Hungary’s problems? (I wonder out loud – I don’t want further debate.)

    A thug, is a thug, is a thug. We have discovered in England that the most effective way to deal with them is to make their lives uncomfortable. Disruption and interruption are the techniques. The police monitor them and wake them up at inconvenient times to check up on them. They hate it – and amazingly this has been effective.

    This is the way to deal with ignorant anti-Semitic thuggery. Forget any notion that you can ‘convert’ them with vicarious analysis.

    In England many of the older generation are rabid racists and anti-Semites. The post war climate allowed these thoughts to be openly displayed. Our laws have just driven it underground – but they are still rabid racists and anti-Semites. But hey guess what? They die!

    The climate for the younger generation is healthy and thriving – and we are proud of our muiti-culturalism – and our ability to live in harmony mostly. And that’s the key. The climate. We are slowly growing it out of the system. Ditto Northern Ireland and religious bigotry – but readers won’t understand me here.

    Now stuff ‘Hungary climate’ (the current one that is – not the hundred-year-old past) in your supercilious-intellectual-driving-analytical-sausage machine and see what comes out. Go figure.

    Don’t tell me the result please – some of us already know.

    This is my final contribution to this debate – claim the last word if you must.

    Regards

    Charlie

  7. Dubious
    June 15, 2012 at 4:17 am | #7

    For an insight into the Jewish nutcase paranoia of Jobbik, here is a link to their website, on Why do they call Fidesz, Zsidesz? It contains a list of politicians who they believe are closet Jews.

    http://nagyszenas.jobbik.hu/content/mi%C3%A9rt-h%C3%ADvj%C3%A1k-egyre-t%C3%B6bben-fideszt-zsidesznek

  8. wolfi
    June 15, 2012 at 5:15 am | #8

    Dubious, thanks!

    Unbelievable – at times like this I’m glad that I can’t really read Hungarian. And my wife won’t translate this for me – she won’t even look at that …

    I’m so happy that she’s a real liberal-minded person!

  9. Ovidiu
    June 15, 2012 at 5:58 am | #9

    Dubious :
    Why do they call Fidesz, Zsidesz?

    Because FIDESZ politics is not nationalistic enough by Jobbik’s standards.
    But how could this happen if they are all Magyars ? There must be some “treason” within Fidesz, ergo there must be some crypto-Jews inside Fidesz working to weaken the Magyar nation.

    The Jobbik-crowd will always end up finding what they are looking for in any such situation (a group, an association, party, etc. which they are “investigating” because of they don’t like the politics of that group, association, etc.). It really doesn’t matter that (let’s assume) it is demonstrable that there aren’t Jews in that group because this sort of anti-Semitism which has become in fashionable in Hungary is not about real Jews. The “Jew” of Jobbik is an imaginary fellow, a constructed concept which embodies everything which is non-Magyar and who works 24/7 to destroy the Magyar nation.

    They will always end up finding what they looking for because their ethnicity-test is actually a political test. If no Jew is found among the members of the investigated group then those who are the target of discontent, those whose actions don’t fit Jobbik-crowd standards of behavior, will be regarded/defined as Judaized-Magyars (thus Jews in a cultural sense) and treated “accordingly”. It is “head I win tail you lose”.

    (once again) Anti-Semitism in Hungary is not about Jews. It is a battle of the nation with itself. The ultra-nationalists are dividing the Magyars in two classes : the true-devoted-real Magyars (if possible all dressed identical in the national grab and with moustache) and in the traitors-enemies of the nation, the “Jews” (the non-Magyars).
    The “Jews” are all the Magyars whose acts are perceived as not patriotic enough, are perceived as acts which weaken and undermine the nation.
    So we get an quite a long list of “Jews”, for instance a catholic priest who refuses to ring the church bell for Trianon is a crypto-Jew (why ? because his actions prove it, no true sensible Magyar would do such thing, by definition).

    It is a battle of the nation with itself with. The “Jews” and anti-semitism in Hungary serves a symbolical function, it is used to label (to mean) “traitors and enemies within to be get rid off”
    (traitors according to the Jobbik-crowd).

    It is a civil war symbolically represented as an inter-ethnic war.

  10. Kuner
    June 15, 2012 at 6:57 am | #10

    Just a very recent experience. I was discussing Hungarian politics with my Hungarian colleague. Both of us are working in international global IT company. He is very modest and intelligent person. But then when I asked about potential of LMP in next elections. I was shocked with his answer. He just mentioned: Its a Jew party.Financed and led by Jews. They can not get more then 10%. OK…I said…and changed the topic….If I would hear it from somobody on the street, OK…But from this person I really did not expect statement like this….

  11. CharlieH
    June 15, 2012 at 7:13 am | #11

    London Calling!

    Kuner.

    May I ask why you didn’t challenge his thinking?

    Could your “Ok…I said” have been misunderstood as tacit agreement?

    Am I being unrealistic?

    Democracy brings responsibilities – and takes courage too I know.
    But dialogue with peers is the only political power the man on the Gyor omnibus has.
    You hold in yr hands the power to change the ‘climate’ and it is the only way it will change.

    Someone has to say it.

    This is what I have done on several occasions in different circumstances – and in a different country, I accept.

    Is it that bad in Hungary?

    Regards

    Charlie

  12. Kuner
    June 15, 2012 at 8:28 am | #12

    Hi Charlie,
    i do not know whether its that bad in Hungary.I coming from Slovakia.I just did not want to argue with that colleague. I respect him and aswell his “local expertise”. Actually I do not think he is Anti-semit.Simply I can not believe that because he is otherwise completely normal:-)

  13. An
    June 15, 2012 at 10:48 am | #13

    OT. In Budapest. Just saw Jobbik activists at three different locations in the city handing out a free newspaper called “Hazai Palya” (The Home Field). On the front cover there is a quote from Gabor Vona, the Jobbik leader “If they they throw us with stones, we are going to hit them with a rock” … what a nice touch (sarcastic).
    They are just handing these papers out.. at first I thought it was some kind of advertising material that people usually distribute in the street, until I saw the Jobbik sign. They seem to be working very hard on marketing and seem to have the money, too, to do so (the paper looks like a real news paper, with several pages, with various articles on politics, Jews in politics, sports, and tabloid news… it’s like a Jobbik tabloid paper).

  14. gdfxx
    June 15, 2012 at 11:18 am | #14

    Eva:” Perhaps it would be better to say that there is real anti-Semitism in Hungary that is directed against people of Jewish decent. But, it seems to me, the concept is extended to anyone who thinks differently from the Jobbik-Fidesz crowd.”

    This reminds me of an old joke:

    In an elementary school in Hungary the teacher wants to know the religion of the children in his class. So he says: Catholics in this corner, protestants in that corner, Jews in the third corner. They all go in their corners except one little boy. What is your religion, the teacher asks. I am an atheist, the little boy answers. Go to the Jews (mars a zsidok koze), the teacher says.

  15. gdfxx
    June 15, 2012 at 11:21 am | #15

    I agree with Charlie on his dispute with Ovidiu. It makes no sense to analyze why there is anti-Semitism in Hungary. This was analyzed to death before. If it is not kept under control with education or, if necessary, with force, it will lead to the annihilation of what’s left of the Hungarian Jewish community.

  16. Mutt Damon
    June 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm | #16

    An :
    OT. In Budapest. Just saw Jobbik activists at three different locations in the city handing out a free newspaper called “Hazai Palya”… it’s like a Jobbik tabloid paper).

    This is the latest: http://jobbik.hu/sites/jobbik.hu/down/HP2012-03.pdf Horror.

  17. Kirsten
    June 15, 2012 at 6:44 pm | #17

    A bit late but I nearly fully agree with Charlie’s opinion. The problem is that if it is claimed that anti-semitism stands for a general uneasiness with own identity, this somehow misses how costly this uneasiness is for people who have unfortunately become the “embodiment” of this uneasiness.

    Contrary to what was suggested, the Jewish community in Hungary is one of the largest remaining communities in Europe
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_population
    and people of Jewish origin are being reminded of their origins even if they are atheists. Anti-Roma sentiments, also very popular, are interestingly expressed in different ways and on different occasions.

    To interpret the anti-semitic statements as a kind of “xenophobia” also misses the fact that Hungarians of Jewish faith are not FOREIGNERS. It is more likely that the anti-semitism has not changed since the 19th century, where it prevailed in large parts of Europe and that is not being classified as a “type of xenophobia”.) THAT is why it is absolutely necessary to condemn first, as Thomas wrote.

    The interpretation of Hungarian anti-semitism as reflecting a crisis of identity or an inferiority complex is fully in line with the still prevalent approach to the nation through national traits, a “common mind”, common fate etc. INDIVIDUAL rights, something that is paramount to the current understanding of democracy in countries that have been more successful in maintaining one, have still not made it into the debate about the Hungarian nation (it appears). And people who are either of Jewish origin or who are linked to Jewish origin because people are “used to” express their general and specific uneasiness about whatever in anti-semitic terms, are being DENIED their right to be a full member of a POLITICAL nation.

    A modern political nation is able to accommodate to diversity because it accepts the notion of individual rights – no matter what my background is. (Before people will argue “but in which country people really live up to it”, I write that of course this is an ideal, but one that is a guiding principle in the more mature democracies.) The Hungarian anti-semitism, even if habitually, is an everyday confirmation of the fact that the logic of “Hungarianness is sacred” is alive. People who do not follow this logic of “one national body” can be stripped of all rights and dignity if necessary. The fact that people of non-Jewish origin – if found “guilty” of dissenting – are considered at least “crypto-Jews” I consider a proof of my proposition. Seen from that angle, the habitual Hungarian anti-semitism stands for a deep dislike for individual rights and in its consequence also democracy.

    As Charlie wrote, a change in that will not occur through trying to find explanations for that but an alternative set of values, one where “Hungarianness” is not the most sacred feeling. And that can be “learned”, as was shown (at least to some extent) in a number of countries of Europe already, with no smaller “national” inclination to anti-semitism. Not tolerating it promotes an acceptance of an individual’s right to participate on equal terms in the POLITICAL nation.

  18. Ovidiu
    June 16, 2012 at 4:17 am | #18

    @Kirsten

    “The Hungarian anti-semitism, even if habitually, is an everyday confirmation of the fact that the logic of “Hungarianness is sacred” is alive. People who do not follow this logic of “one national body” can be stripped of all rights and dignity if necessary. The fact that people of non-Jewish origin – if found “guilty” of dissenting – are considered at least “crypto-Jews” I consider a proof of my proposition.Seen from that angle, the habitual Hungarian anti-semitism stands for a deep dislike for individual rights and in its consequence also democracy.”

    I think that we are in agreement on most points (and with Marsovszky et al.).

    Fidesz-Jobbik have a political ideology to push : the vision of the nation as an “organic-holistic” body. A vision which is collectivistic (communitarian, tribal) and authoritarian (anti-democratic). If fully implemented at the state level it is hard to say how such a state would differ from a plain fascist state. Resurrecting the “blood and soil” writers of the 1930s (Nyiro, Wass, Dezso) is promoting this vision (it is implied in their works).

    Anti-semitism in Hungary has become the other face of the coin. A cultural-code, a code-talk used in what is a very divisive Magyar-Magyar (“Turanics” vs. “Jews”) argument over the future of the nation, over how to adapt and preserve identity when subjected to the forces of globalization, free-market, EU integration and dissolution of the borders, etc.
    It makes me think about St.Stephen and the civil conflict over adopting Christianity, or about the 1918-1920 period with its divisions over the communist ideas.

  19. Kirsten
    June 16, 2012 at 5:23 am | #19

    Ovidiu, I had the impression that the argument that “anti-semitism in Hungary may not mean what it means because it is a general rejection of elements considered alien to the nation” is also strongly grounded in “one nation, one body, one leader” thinking. The nation is also defined based on this “Hungarianness”, language, race, religion. A refusal to call this anti-semitism anything different from that means that you refuse the whole logic behind the definition of “nation” (“we are surrounded by alien people”, “we are unique through language, habits etc.”, “we are certain to die out if we accept ‘alien elements’ “). That logic has to be replaced by a different one (a political nation is the sum of the individuals who wish to live together in one place or state based on some common principles) and that is why the anti-semitism has be to rejected immediately. The alternative set of values has to be introduced in a practical manner, and this is best shown in condemnation of anti-semitic statements, even making them kind of taboo. Explaining that the “Hungarian nation” is “simply” expressing its uneasiness with “alien elements” in general looks at the problem from the angle of an “impersonal mass”, whereas condemnation of anti-semitism as harming individuals starts from the damage that is done to individual persons, their rights and dignity, and the responsibility for it of individuals who are habitually expressing their uneasiness in anti-semitic statements and who dodge behind a “mass”. For met his appears to be a bit different.

  20. Ovidiu
    June 16, 2012 at 7:07 am | #20

    @Kirsten

    –Ovidiu, I had the impression that the argument that “anti-semitism in Hungary may not mean what it means because it is a general rejection of elements considered alien to the nation” is also strongly grounded in “one nation, one body, one leader” thinking.—

    No, it is explaining how, why, it comes to exists. It is something which “follows” if you adopt the kind of vision of “nation” of those who promote this kind of anti-semitism.
    It is “them”, not I, who embrace this kind vision and it “them” who then (as a consequences of adopting such beliefs) end up using, expressing, this kind of “culturally-coded” anti-semitism.

    You don’t need to be a true-believer in their paradigm in order to understand them and then, by using their own premises, to explain their thought-process and behavior.
    An atheist can write about religion and explain why religious people behave as they behave without converting. It is a temporary “suspension of disbelief” for the sake of understanding others in their own terms.
    Neither I nor Marsovszky write to defend their views, we just don’t allow that our own vision interfere with the subject and, instead of writing to “why”, slide into writing politics, slide into writing polemics “against” them.

    —That logic has to be replaced by a different one (a political nation is the sum of the individuals who wish to live together in one place or state based on some common principles) –

    Yes, this is a different “vision” (paradigm), that of nation as being a “civic-nation”.

    Interesting that the new Hungarian Constitution is using the term “nation” with both meanings. It deals with the ethnic-minorities living in HU as being part of the “political community” (thus implying a “civic-nation” meaning for the “Hungarian nation” concept) while at the same time, in other parts of the text, is treating the ethnic Hungarians living anywhere outside HU as being part of the “Hungarian nation” (this means now that “nation” is defined/understood in the sense of “ethnic-nation”).
    The Venice Commission noticed the contradiction. It did not buy into the ploy of changing the words to (apparently) avoid/remove the contradiction (i.e. using different words for an identical meaning through replacing “nation” with “political community”) and asked (July 2011) that the issue be clarified. It was not when the Cons. was adopted.

  21. Mutt Damon
    June 16, 2012 at 10:50 am | #21

    Ovidiu (or should I say Vandorlo),

    Now is there any practical fallout of this great analysis of the Hungarian anti-Semitism? You seem to understand the roots of it and as we know that’s what we need to combat it. So, what should we do with the Holocaust deniers?

  22. June 17, 2012 at 12:12 pm | #22

    It is not only the right wing that produces antisemites and holocaust deniers. As an example: “An ex-member of the communist party, he converted to Islam in the 1980s. His 1996 book The Founding Myths of Israeli Politics denied that the killing of Jews by the Nazis constituted genocide.

    He was given a suspended jail sentence for Holocaust denial in 1998.

    During the war Garaudy joined the French Resistance and later wrote more than 50 books – mainly on political philosophy and Marxism.

    He was expelled from the French Communist Party in 1970 after criticising the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

    Born into a Catholic family, he initially converted to Protestantism before rejoining the Catholic Church and eventually embracing Islam.”

  23. gdfxx
    June 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm | #23

    Kovach:”It is not only the right wing that produces antisemites and holocaust deniers. ”

    So what?

  24. June 17, 2012 at 12:34 pm | #24

    gdfx. I have posted the above from BBC. because the blog line consistently attributed antisemitism in Hungary to the rightists.

  25. June 17, 2012 at 1:56 pm | #25

    Louis Kovach :

    gdfx. I have posted the above from BBC. because the blog line consistently attributed antisemitism in Hungary to the rightists.

    If there were a socialist-liberal party in Hungary that declared itself openly anti-Semitic then we wouldn’t have to concentrate only the right.

  26. gdfxx
    June 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm | #26

    Kovach:”I have posted the above from BBC. because the blog line consistently attributed antisemitism in Hungary to the rightists.”

    In Hungary (and this blog is about Hungary) the antisemitism is typical and officially (or quasi-officially) endorsed by the right. It was the right then that deported hundreds of thousands of Jews to their death, it is the right today that celebrates the right of those times. Your remark is meaningless in this context.

  27. wolfi
    June 17, 2012 at 3:20 pm | #27

    I might say Kovach is an idiot but I’ll refrain from that – I’ll just point out that his reasoning is a typical example of a “logical fallacy”. There is a list on nizkor:http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/

    Actually it is more like a Kindergarten argument: He did the same last week – why am I being punished ?

    Louis, please lay off your examples of other people’s idiocies – they only prove that you’re in the same league!

  28. Dubious
    June 18, 2012 at 3:32 am | #28

    Paul :

    After all, any analysis of anti-Semitism in Hungary has to explain two key factors: Hungary is the most anti-Semitic country in Europe and yet it also has probably the smallest Jewish population.

    I was quite surprised to read this, because I am constantly meeting people of Jewish descent.

    So I checked with the supreme source, wikipedia, and Hungary has the 6th highest proportion of Jewish people in the world: (behind Israel, US, Canada, France, and Uruguay) from their 60,600 Jewish people.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_population

  29. Guest
    June 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm | #29

    Kuner :
    Just a very recent experience. I was discussing Hungarian politics with my Hungarian colleague. Both of us are working in international global IT company. He is very modest and intelligent person. But then when I asked about potential of LMP in next elections. I was shocked with his answer. He just mentioned: Its a Jew party.Financed and led by Jews. They can not get more then 10%. OK…I said…and changed the topic….If I would hear it from somobody on the street, OK…But from this person I really did not expect statement like this….

    Well, what if it is a Jewish led or financed party?

    Has this been disproved?

    Or is it merely anti-Semitic to identify Jewish people and influence, even if it is true?

    Is it anti-Catholic to identify Catholics, or anti-African to identify Africans, even if they are using their affiliation as the central point of co-operation and self-interest between them? How about gentile/Christian whites? How about Muslims? Or are Jewish people the only ones who cannot be identified as such?

    If true, I argue that the taboo against his is prima facie evidence of such disproportionate power. It is a privilege that no other group enjoys, even if you are reinforcing this privilege not as Jewish person, but as someone who has just been taught that not identifying Jewish political workings is the social norm, and that doing so is taboo.

    Your associate is absolutely within his right, as a free man, to identify Jewish power and politics, where it exists.

  30. gdfxx
    June 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm | #30

    Guest: “Well, what if it is a Jewish led or financed party?

    Has this been disproved? ”

    Is there any proven factual support for the statement? If not, it is just another anti-Semitic statement, so common in Hungary today.

  31. Kirsten
    June 21, 2012 at 7:46 pm | #31

    Guest:

    “It is a privilege that no other group enjoys”

    What privilege are you talking about? The privilege to be a member of a party? The privilege to attend schools or to work? Or do you mean the “privilege” to be reminded of Jewish decent, real or made real by the imagination of other people who do not even care to find out whether a person is actually religious or not but just apply their prejudice – which they consider to be “truth”? What if an Hungarian of Jewish decent considers himself Hungarian in the first place and then (perhaps) also identifies with the religion, why then permanently “identify” the “real” nature of that person as Jewish? What kind of taboo is that? Apparently you think that Hungarian and Jewish do NOT go together. And that is anti-semitism. We were discussing whether there is anything additional in the current anti-semitism to that of the 19th century, but there is not.

  32. June 21, 2012 at 8:49 pm | #32

    Guest :
    Or is it merely anti-Semitic to identify Jewish people and influence, even if it is true?

    Dear Guest, tell me, what other reason would make you feel compelled to point out that a party is full of Jews? Perhaps your never ending quest for facts?

  33. gdfxx
    June 21, 2012 at 9:09 pm | #33

    Mutt Damon :

    Guest :
    Or is it merely anti-Semitic to identify Jewish people and influence, even if it is true?

    Dear Guest, tell me, what other reason would make you feel compelled to point out that a party is full of Jews? Perhaps your never ending quest for facts?

    You are missing the essence: the financing.

  34. CharlieH
    June 22, 2012 at 8:20 am | #34

    London Calling!

    Guest – you have focussed on people and ‘influence’ because they are Jews – there are many people with ‘influence’ but who are not Jews. It is an irrelevance. In a meritocratic democracy all sorts of people from all walks of life and from all different creeds are successful whatever race or religion.

    Come to London and see. A pluralistic successful society needs ALL its talents. We are grateful for all the peoples who make up our society – we don’t (in the main) make life difficult for them and drive them away from our country. England is successful BECAUSE of its minorities – not in spite of them.

    And you need to tell that to your fellow workers.

    When an anti-Semite doesn’t recognise anti-Semitism – he’s an anti-Semite.
    We can ‘feel’ it in the hatred you write; we hear it in the words you don’t speak.
    We know it festers in your heart.

    Regards

    Charlie

  35. June 22, 2012 at 9:36 am | #35
  36. Igor Dobos
    August 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm | #36

    Hungary is going down the drain. Worst economic situation in Europe, so the feeble minded amongst us have to blame someone. We do not deserve to lick the boots of those wonderful people who contributed, and are still contributing, so much to world culture, health, economy, science and are excelling in all academic fields. We should hang our collective head in shame after the horrific behaviour of some hooligans at the football match today.
    I am ashamed to be Hungarian

  37. August 19, 2012 at 5:40 pm | #37

    Igor Dobos :

    Hungary is going down the drain. Worst economic situation in Europe, so the feeble minded amongst us have to blame someone. We do not deserve to lick the boots of those wonderful people who contributed, and are still contributing, so much to world culture, health, economy, science and are excelling in all academic fields. We should hang our collective head in shame after the horrific behaviour of some hooligans at the football match today.
    I am ashamed to be Hungarian

    I feel very much the same way but think of it. In every society there is the scum. However, in other countries the government makes sure that this small minority at such a football match cannot run amok. The problem is that Orbán’s government let them loose and in fact encourages them. Does anyone recall when a few years back Orbán demonstratively sat together with the Ferencváros fans at a match? The members of this organized fan club are the worst offender of football hooliganism. They were also the ones who most likely were responsible for the storming of the television station in September 2006. That was surely a symbolic gesture to them.

  38. November 11, 2012 at 3:16 pm | #38

    I love Hungary and the Hungarians.I have been visiting since 1970 and have owned a house there for 10 years.I have a very good friend of 42 years who shocked me by suggesting that another[mutual]friend was’Jewish because her manners are not so good’.I
    replied that comments like that are not allowed in our country.I was shocked and further shocked when another Hungarian friend stated that he ‘hated Jews’.[I walked out at that!].I am not Jewish but I am Welsh and have heard racist remarks about the Welsh.I condemn racism of any kind and consider that Hungary should do so as well.However,reading the Jobbik website,I think that Anti-Semitism certainly exists in Hungary.To me it is a negative aspect of a beautiful country with generally wonderful people.I understand it must be terrible to lose two-thirds of your country-Triannon-but to stigmatise one section of the population-or two if you count the Roma-is to court accusations of Hitlerism and to isolate Hungary from the rest of Europe.

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