Renewed activities of the Hungarian far right

Only yesterday I was chatting with a relative of mine in Hungary who is known for her pessimistic outlook on life. She is no friend of the present Hungarian government and is convinced that she will never see a change in the current political situation. Or if there is a change, says she, it will be for the worse.

According to her scenario the Hungarian people will be increasingly disappointed in the Orbán government but instead of turning toward democratic solutions they will try to find answers in the undemocratic, racist, xenophobic, ultranationalistic, even irredentist Jobbik. For the time being, however, there is little evidence of a major shift in this direction. In the past month when according to Medián Fidesz lost 7% of its followers, Jobbik managed to gain only 2%, which given the nature of these polls is not significant. So I disagreed.

That conversation took place yesterday and here we are today when it looks as if Jobbik is moving into action. Perhaps the Jobbik leaders are sensing that as a result of the Kálmán Széll Plan there will be a change in public sentiment that they can exploit. In any case, in the last few days Jobbik or its militia, the Hungarian Guard, was involved in three separate incidents.

The first took place last Thursday but because it was reported in Délmagyarország, a local paper, it took a little while to hit the nationwide media. The "star" was György Gyula Zagyva, a Jobbik MP whose resignation LMP is now demanding. György Gyula Zagyva is an uneducated, uncouth fellow who has been involved in all sorts of unsavory affairs, usually accompanied by violence. He was one of the organizers of the disturbances that ended in the siege of the Hungarian public television station. I wrote about Zagyva last August when he threatened two newspapermen at a festival organized by the Hungarian far right.

This time he and thirty of his friends decided to take a "little walk" in Dóc, a village about 25 kms north of Szeged, to visit a Gypsy family. As it turned out, the man they eventually found wasn't even Gypsy; only his deceased wife was Roma. Sándor Sipos, the widower, lives in an isolated ranch (tanya) with his three children. Zagyva and his friends sang war songs and marched in formation. And one of the guys threw a heavy object toward Sipos. From the description it is not clear how the police learned of the incident, but in no time they were there in force and managed to stop the men from doing harm to the family.

It seems that Jobbik supporters were also busy in Sándorfalva, a nearby village, a few days later, but again the police were on top of the situation. Perhaps the Hungarian police have better intelligence nowadays than for example in 2006 when they had no clue what was brewing before the siege of the television station.

LMP reacted quickly. The party demanded Zagyva's resignation. After all, this is not the first time that "the honorable member of parliament" has physically threatened people. "He is unfit to sit in the House," announced the party's spokesman. Let me add that I doubt that Zagyva will either leave on his own volition or be booted out from the Hungarian parliament.

And in Gyöngyöspata, miles away from Dóc and Sándorfalva in the Mátra Mountains, men belonging to an organization called Szebb Jövőért Polgárőr Egyesület (For the Better Future Militia) are "guarding" the streets. These people have nothing to do with the network of civilians called "polgárőrség" who under the supervision of the police assist in keeping order on the streets. They either belonged to or perhaps are still members of the Hungarian Guard. They appeared in Gyöngyöspata after a very sick old man committed suicide. A local Jobbik politician claimed that the man decided to end his life because he was afraid that two Gypsy families whose houses got damaged in the flood were going to move near his house. According to the local Roma this is nonsense: they and the old man had good relations in the past.

In any case, the guardists, several dozen of them, came from other parts of the country and settled in the house of the Jobbik politician who called them in. But this is just the beginning. There will be a large Jobbik demonstration in town planned for Sunday: Gábor Vona and another Jobbik MP will make speeches and they expect perhaps several thousand people to attend. Meanwhile the guardists in uniform are walking the streets and the Gypsies are truly afraid.

But Jobbik is targeting not only Gypsies. They are also an anti-semitic lot and they especially hate Israel. By contrast, fundamentalist Christians consider Israel the holy land and Jews the chosen people. The Isaszeg chapter of the Evangelical Pentecostal Community decided to hold an Israel friendship day on March 5 in its chapel. The event was advertised on the Internet. So the local Jobbik is organizing a demonstration in front of the chapel against "the worshipping of Israel." The infamous anti-semitic Calvinist minister and Jobbik member Lóránt Hegedűs immediately announced that he and his followers are joining the demonstration. The anti-Jobbik forces are also organizing, and trouble may be brewing.

We will see where this renewed activity will lead. Perhaps at last Fidesz will have to show its hand because until now Viktor Orbán avoided any condemnation of this neo-Nazi party. Although before the elections he announced that he will take care of the whole problem by "slapping the members of the far right around a bit" nothing of the sort happened. But if these provocative acts multiply, I guess something will have to be done. But what?







  1. Eva, I can only hope that the planned demonstration against the events if the Isaszeg chapter of the Evangelical Pentecostal Community is well publicized all over the press. I am going to be honest, I hope and I wish from the bottom of my heart that finally Orban will take a stand. If it is not publicized he will deny knowing anything about it, but if it is all over the press he will have an incredible chance to start to show some willingness to behave as a Prime Minister of a developed, civilized country. If I would be his PR person, I would make him attend the Friendship Day.

  2. someone: “I am going to be honest, I hope and I wish from the bottom of my heart that finally Orban will take a stand.”
    Of course, I can only agree with you but do you really think that he will? He doesn’t want to lose all those voters who are in his camp but deep down (or not so deep down) sympathize with Jobbik? Some people claim that that group might be about one-third of his voters.
    By the way, listen to what Pál Zavada, the famous Hungarian novelist, has to say about the Orbán government:
    These are strong words.

  3. LOL. Pál Zavada is just another sore loser who can’t bear the shadowy side of democracy, that is, when majority is not his.
    Come on, go overthrow the government, how many votes do you have?
    How do you plan to overthrow them? If you as a small minority try it, it is called a coup. But at least he doesn’t spout the popular lie that he’s a democrat.
    Anyway, I hope Eva that your friend will live long enough to see that no government change will occur for decades to come. Or, at least, not by those criminals who were just voted out of power.
    Moreover, Eva, I guess you’ll never write anything on this topic so I just put it in here:
    29 years combined were sentenced on Gypsies who assaulted an university student because he was Hungarian. Finally some decisions start to turn the world on its feet again.

  4. Johnny Boy is out of line again. What’s new? So, just in case you missed the x-ray photograph of the 13 year old gipsy girl who was murdered (with his mother) by innocent Hungarian serial killers with “racist motivations without a doubt”, here it is
    OR the killing of a gipsy man who was about to go to work, here is an article .
    How about what happened in Piricsi?
    Obviously those does not matter to Johnny and his kind, as these people were gipsies. THey were killed because they were gipsies. So according to Johnny’s thinking, all Hungarians are guilty because some scum bags are committing crimes against the gypsies.

  5. It is interesting to note that those who in 2002 voted his ‘Mightiness’ out of power are regarded scum and those who replaced them as ‘criminals’. I suspect that the new constitution will somehow make it impossible for anyone but his ‘Mightiness’ to ever be voted into power again.
    He (OV) went to Brussels where he told the European Commission that it could push its self up its collective –where the sun does not shine. Tell me Little Johnny according to your propaganda is that not true?
    So I keep asking myself why does his ‘Mightiness’ delay in passing a law which declares them all of those who were members of the last two governments to be ‘criminals’ and lock them away? Who is he afraid of? Why does he allow this and other similar blogs to exist?
    Is he not the ‘Mighty One’? Who is he afraid of? After all he has the might of Hungary behind him. I repeat my question who or what is he (and Fidesz) afraid of?
    Is he truly the Hungarian Messiah? Tell us little man then we might understand
    By the, way do you think that those who live to the North, to the East, to the South and worst of all to the West do not know stinking fish when they smell it? Do you think that they do not know an incipient dictator/demagogue when one turns up? Tell us why the rest of us who have suffered under or because of such little toads should not love him as you do.
    It is my diagnosis Orban Viktor needs ‘PAXO!’I dare say John.T and Paul will understand this.

  6. @Johhny I’m confused. Aren’t the gypsys Hungarian? They were when I left the country. Have they renounced ther citizenship?

  7. Blind Odin: your posts are usually very bizarre, and this one especially.
    You list a huge number of idiocies (actually, you list nothing else) and you keep asking why they are not true. Your post is finely complete by itself, nothing needs to be added.
    Mutt Damon: if you had read the article I linked, you’d know the gypsies shouted “you now die, f*king Hungarian”.

  8. @Johnny Pardon my ignorance but I’m still not sure what’s your point. Ok, a couple of drunken gypsys beat up a guy and shouted racial slurs. They get convicted (IMHO the judge got really heavy handed with the sentences). So, what’s the big deal?

  9. “So, what’s the big deal?”
    The big deal is that this is already the 3rd time that Roma were convicted under the paragraph supposedly protecting minorities, which is phrased as “violence against members of a community”, with much higher sentences than “simple” assault charges. Extremist attacks against Roma, Jews or Gays, however, are usually persecuted as “simple” “Breach of the peace” (garázdaság) with lesser sentences. So far, as far as I know, the only people convicted of racist hate crimes in Hungary were Roma, after violent incidents with non-Roma Hungarians; in the Sajobábony-case they were defending themselves against the Hungarian Guard, who came to provoke them. There were no charges against Guard members though.
    The Hungarian legal system is re-interpreting the meaning of this law, using it against minorities. See for example here:

  10. I think Johnny’s post makes a point he’d rather not make. Special laws are not required to deal with the subset of Roma that commit crimes. No special “Gypsy Crime” laws are needed. Just evenly enforce those that are aimed at all Hungarians. Now I hope they use the same law to go after the Jobbos who committed a racially motivated crime in Dóc.
    Little Johnny here’s a little brain teaser that will probably make your head explode:
    Some Hungarian Roma are racists and criminals.
    Some non-Roma Hungarians are racists and criminals.
    Does it follow that all non-Roma Hungarians and Hungarian Roma are racists and criminals?
    Hint: Of course not.

  11. @Éva: “Some people claim that that group might be about one-third of his voters.”
    The rest of the supporters must then be at least indifferent because even one-third of half-hearted Jobbik supporters could not be more important than two thirds that find it off-putting. For me a (still relative) minority is gaining ground because of the majority’s indifference (or apathy that you spoke of the other day). The request of LMP is at least something.

  12. Kirsten: “@Éva: “Some people claim that that group might be about one-third of his voters.” The rest of the supporters must then be at least indifferent because even one-third of half-hearted Jobbik supporters could not be more important than two thirds that find it off-putting.”
    Unfortunately a very good point. I’m afraid that’s the truth.

  13. There is a developing back story with these events which has largely gone uncommented upon. There is a growing antagonism from the far-right towards smaller fundamentalist Pentecostal style Christian churches.
    It is interesting that this is not unique to Jobbik, as the last Fidesz government tried to put legal obstacles in the way of registration such churches and I note the rantings of the Semjén against these churches already referenced on this site.
    I am aware from contacts that there is a belief amongst members of the smaller Pentecostal churches in Budapest that there will be an attack on the Pentecostal church in Gyöngyöspatak this Sunday as it has a large Roma membership. I hope that this is not true, but we will soon see if it is.

  14. Making a problem because of the far right is no option. They are a minority. There are other important issues to address, like the numerous socialist corruption cases (at MÁV, at Defence Ministry,the selling of Hungarian Trade Delegation building in Russia etc). The socialists who are not even socialists but neo-liberal are the real problem. They are the cause of the many destructions, loans, corruption in Hungary. For Fidesz there is no other option then to do in MSZP once for all.

  15. David: “I am aware from contacts that there is a belief amongst members of the smaller Pentecostal churches in Budapest that there will be an attack on the Pentecostal church in Gyöngyöspatak this Sunday ” I hope this is not true.
    Erik the Reader: “The socialists who are not even socialists but neo-liberal are the real problem. They are the cause of the many destructions, loans, corruption in Hungary. For Fidesz there is no other option then to do in MSZP once for all.” And can I ask what are you reading Erik? Your words ring through to me, like the Final Solution. Add to your reading list some worthy materials.
    Can you enlighten us about the Fidesz building in 2009. Who sold it to whom, for how much, and for how much did they buy it back for in three years. Who were involved in that? How about some mining operation? I heard something about Life Insurances in Esztergom too… You know my memory is failing me, so just go ahead. THe point is that the problems will not be solved by trying to pointing fingers. You guys (Fidesz) have a problem. Going back to the past will not solve the problem, so what you are going to do about it?

  16. A magyarországi választásokon a szavazati joggal rendelkezők 40 százaléka nem szavazott egyik pártra sem. A szavazók 68 százaléka voksolt a Fideszre – 38 százalék elutasította Orbán pártját.
    Mindebből következően a Fidesz MPSZ csupán csak látszatgyőzelmet aratott – a felnőtt és szavazóképes lakosság többsége nem állt Orbán és pártja mögé!

  17. SCHMITT PÁL, a Fidesz kreálta köztársasági elnök (a Kádár-rezsim miniszterhelyettese, volt MSZMP-tag) a botrányos helyesírási hibákkal teli közleményeiről közismert…
    POKORNI ZOLTÁN, a Fidesz által delegált országgyűlési oktatási és tudományos bizottsági tagja, Pokorni János BM III/III-as ügynökének a fia, a közelmúltban a “balneológia” kifejezést úgy tolmácsolta a nyilvánosság felé, hogy az bálnatenyésztést jelent – s mint ilyen, felesleges képzés az országnak. (Jövedelme: havonta több mint 1 millió forint…)
    Nos, a nevezettekhez képest a 8 általános iskolai osztályt végzett ZAGYVA GYÖRGY, a Jobbik parlamenti képviselője vagy a szintén nyolc általánost végzett Fidesz-képviselő WITTNER MÁRIA megnyilvánulásaira már oda sem figyelnek az emberek.

  18. LOL. So much about English as the lingua franca in Hungary (see the thread about the education).

  19. Mutt, exactly, but it is about the far right at least towards the end of the second post, so passive knowledge is certainly there.
    But I think it was established for good that this “A szavazók 68 százaléka voksolt a Fideszre” is not true, it was 53 %.

  20. The more I think about this, the more I worry.
    If the polls continue the way they are, Fidesz will gradually lose support until, in normal circumstances, it would become a second or third rank party. But these are not ‘normal circumstances’, MSzP are not picking up any of the ex-Fidesz support (or any support at all, beyond their core vote), and there is no ‘third party’ in the usual European political model to benefit from these circumstances.
    So, where will this ex-Fidesz support go, come the next election? Some will go back to Fidesz, obviously, and a small number of voters will try LMP, or other minor parties that might (re)appear before then. And a large number will simply not bother.
    But I fear that a sizeable number will try Jobbik.
    Enough to give Jobbik considerably more seats than MSzP, thus making them the second party of parliament and the official opposition.
    Which will leave Hungary with a parliament consisting of a right wing, nationalistic, extreme ‘Christian’ government, with an extreme righ-wing, nationalist, extreme ‘Christian’, neo-fascist, anti-Semite, Roma-hating opposition.
    Orbán will discover, in the most painful way, that those who play with fire run the risk of the building burning down.
    But what of Hungary? What will happen to the industries, economy and people of Hungary while the right and the extreme right are fully engaged in knocking seven bells out of each other?

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