Attack on the United States and friendship with “tolerant” Russia

Don’t think that the Hungarian government’s attack on the incoming American ambassador is independent of the Hungarian-Russian deal on the Paks power plant. Oh no, both have a great deal to do with the Hungarian government’s continuing war of independence. The newest ally in this fight is the “tolerant” and democratic Russia under Vladimir Putin. At least this is what András Bencsik, one of the organizers of the Peace Marches that demonstrated against the European Union, thinks.

If you think that I’m joking, you are wrong. Serious efforts are being made by Fidesz-Jobbik supporters  to recreate the old Soviet/Russian friendship from which twenty-three years ago Hungarians were happy to escape. The Fidesz-Jobbik label is not a mistake on my part. I consider Zsolt Bayer, András Bencsik, Gábor Széles and others involved in the Peace March movement outright anti-Semite neo-Nazis. And yes, they are supporters of the present government. The two are not mutually exclusive alternatives.

It all started with the letter addressed to Colleen Bell, the U.S. ambassador designate, who was accused by Gergely Gulyás, an influential member of Fidesz and an MP, of representing the interests of the Hungarian opposition. She was told in no uncertain terms that the Hungarian people will not stand for the tutelage of a foreign power. There is even talk of dragging the new ambassador before a parliamentary committee investigating American illegal spying on Hungarian politicians, including perhaps Viktor Orbán.

Of course, we all know that Gergely Gulyás would never dare to make such a frontal attack on the United States on his own. There is no question in my mind that a vicious anti-American propaganda is under way which might be connected to the forthcoming election as well as the possible domestic opposition to the Russian-Hungarian deal on Paks. In any case, the innocent victim of the political and diplomatic game will be Colleen Bell, who has not the foggiest idea what is waiting for her. I suspect she will soon be sorry that she ever had ambassadorial ambitions.

As soon as Gulyás set the tone, everybody on the right felt free to join the offensive. Even our “moderate” János Martonyi decided to line up and move Hungary’s attack against the United States abroad. He gave an interview to the Budapest correspondent of The Wall Street Journal in which he “urged the incoming U.S. ambassador to Budapest to stay independent in her judgment after Colleen Bradley Bell voiced concerns about the state of checks and balances in Hungary and independence of some of the country’s institutions.”

Naturally, Martonyi is more diplomatic than the far-right-wing Fidesz supporters like András Bencsik who feel just as comfortable in Jobbik’s Hungarian Guard as in Fidesz (and earlier, in the case of Bencsik, in communist circles). Bencsik is a man of action. This morning he wrote a short piece on Facebook in which he announced his plans to organize another Peace March, not surprisingly a week before the election, on March 29. Of course, one goal is to fire up the core Fidesz electorate. But it will be a demonstration against the United States “which takes up the role of the Soviet Union. It doesn’t send ambassadors but arrogant regional governors, instructors, commissars to the subjugated country whose job is to relay tidbits of the ideas of the enslaved people to the heart of the empire. Their job is to force these primitive people to lead a prescribed life: ‘checks and balances and marijuana.'” The last refers to President Obama’s views on the legalization of marijuana. “In comparison Russia is the home of tolerance.”

Bencsik in this Facebook note interprets “checks and balances” as some kind of geopolitical balance that was, for example, practiced by the princes of Transylvania who maneuvered  between the Ottoman and the Habsburg Empires. With closer relations with Russia, Bencsik argues, Hungary can have a larger role to play in foreign affairs and will thus receive greater independence. Of course, not everybody will be happy with this new Russian-Hungarian friendship, just as Izsák Schulhof mourned the departure of the Turks from Buda. What? Who is this Schulhof? Bencsik, an anti-Semite, naturally found his anti-Hungarian Jew who allegedly mourned the departure of the escaping Turks from Buda in 1686. As usual, the story is not accurate. A friend of mine sent me a link to a letter of a historian of the Budapest Historical Museum which sets the story straight. It seems that these anti-Semites manage to find some usually untrue story to depict Jews as historically against the Hungarian nation. The implication of Bencsik’s reference to Schulhof is that only Jews complain about the foreign policy of Viktor Orbán which otherwise gives greater leeway for diplomatic maneuvering and therefore is beneficial to Hungary.

paks1

paks2

Some Hungarian weeklies had fantastic covers depicting this new love affair between Viktor Orbán and Vladimir Putin. András Bencsik’s Magyar Demokrata, on the other hand, decided to feature the new “museum quarter” in the heart of Budapest.

Heti Válasz opted for word play on “pax vobiscum” from the Catholic mass,  meaning “peace be with you,” while Figyelő talked about “atomic power.” HVG reminded its readers of the “Eastern bloc.” I especially like Magyar Narancs’s “The country is on Putin’s hook.” The pictures appeared on 444.hu.

72 comments

  1. This should be no secret: Orban is attempting to set the pre-election debate topics by putting forward hot-button topics such as foreign interference and constant jewish whining. He wants
    people to be inflamed on both sides. He doesn’t want to answer to unemployment figures, the lack of foreign investments, the hundreds of thousands of young emigrating, of the land theft by his cronies, of his total deconstruction of civil society and the rule of law. No.

    ‘Let’s set the fires burning. Is there a Reichstag around? Maybe not, but we can inflame our followers against these ivory tower socialists who want to betray our ancient, Christian ways.
    We’ll show them that we know who our friends are! We won’t be deterred from blessing our future young with the stability and contented calm of many years of surplus energy. We’ll be
    respected. We’ll be the saviours of Europe!!’

  2. “we all know that Gergely Gulyás would never dare to make such a frontal attack on the United States on his own.”

    I don’t think writing a letter is really the same as a frontal attack, and also Gulyás is an MP as you wrote, and he has at least 263 friends in that same category as him.

    If we follow your description that a letter is a “frontal attack” what can we call the acts of the Blind Kommondor guy? Genocide against women? I mean if we use up all the strong words what are we left with, when we are not describing mildly interesting letters written by a Member of Parliament?

    I mean you are right that it was criticism against the future ambassador, but I think you yourself wrote earlier that the ambassador candidate also had some critical comments earlier.

    On the other parts of the post. On the role of Izsák Schulhuf I read the link that you sent but that seems to be referring to something in 2005. Is he also becoming part of the 2014 debate too somehow? I didn’t quite understand what was going on, can you also link the 2014 message where Schulhuf is mentioned? – (correction by the time i got this far in the typing I found everything Link and all … I am getting tired here)

    Mentioning the marijuana was really bizarre in the Link. I mean it is a highly illegal substence with many years prison tied to its manufacturing and distribution in many US states. They legalized it in I think two states but in many more the “war on drugs”, this included is alive and well.

  3. Bencsik’s organization, the Civil Összefogás Fórum, in English something like Civil Unity Forum, is now called Cyril Unity Forum.

  4. Mr Paul: Gulyas and the his colleagues are Fidesz droid button pushers, not MPs, who only say and write what was ordered in party headquarters. They would never publish such a rant (or anything) without a directive from above. This is how it works in Orbanistan.

  5. HOLLYWOOD TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR VICTOR ORBAN!

    Apparently, the grapevine has it, that Hollywood is in full support of Mr. Orban–Mel Gibson, and his father, will be alighting at Ferihegy to help the Fidesz campaign a week before the vote takes place.

  6. 1.
    Orban and his friends think that Putin is a member of the Chornye Sotni.

    2.
    I read Yitzhak Schulhoff’s memoirs that were published in Hungarian. Of course, he mourned the Christian capture of Buda in 1686, since most of his community was slaughtered in the synagogues, including his entire family; he was kept alive for ransom that was paid by Austrian Jews later.

  7. It strikes me that a picture of Orbán making his famous ‘Russians go home” speech, with appropriate quotes from that speech would make a good election poster for the opposition…

  8. Interestingly, Gulyás also claimed in his letter that “a rendszerváltás óta soha nem volt annyi külföldi tőkebefektetés Magyarországon, mint tavaly”, or that there was more foreign capital investment in Hungary last year than any year since the regime change.

    Granted, I don’t have the data myself, but if that’s really true, I’ll eat my hat. Probably the actual data for 2013 isn’t available yet, but does anybody have the estimates for FDI in Hungary last year?

  9. Let me answer Mr. Paul at some length. The “frontal attack” shouldn’t be taken literally as yu do. I don’t think that you can deny that Gulyás’s attack on the incoming American ambassador was an unacceptable act in diplomacy. It reflects very badly on the Hungarian government. Perhaps you should listen to a former diplomat and minister of foreign affairs, Péter Balázs on that subject in today’s Egyenes beszéd. He is absolutely dumbfounded. As for Mr. Komondor’s attack. How does it come here? That was a man beating up his wife. Come one. It’s too bad if you don’t see the difference and try to compare this drunkard’s behavior to a political act against a foreign country.

    As for Gulyás’s just being one of the 263 Fidesz MPs.An already answered you. I can only add that he is a very important politician in Fidesz. One of the deputy whips within the Fidesz caucus. He was one of the two Fidesz politicians who represented Hungary at the hearings of the Helsinki Commission in Washington last March. He is also a member of the American-Hungarian Friendship Association. Nice friend.

    Schulhof. Again I don’t understand what you don’t understand. Bencsik makes an anti-Semitic remark with a seventeenth-century historical figure. It turns out that he is misrepresenting the man who has been portrayed in right-wing circles as an awful Jew who was unhappy that the Turks were defeated while he himself was running with his stolen millions. This story is not true. I wanted to set the story straight.

    Marijuana. It wasn’t I who mentioned it but Bencsik. Here his intention is to blacken the name of the American president as a man who promotes illicit drugs. Another attack on the United States.

    Yes, it is an illegal substance in most states in the United States but the president thinks that it would be a good idea to make it legal. It is not a serious drug. Its harm is not worse than alcohol and it is possible that it does less damage than smoking. My feeling is that sooner or later marijuana possession will not be illegal.

  10. I can even see a deliberate, slightly hidden and atrocious psychology in Bencsik’s writing.

    1.
    Bencsik hides the the reason of Schulhof’s mourning in his article.
    He claims that Schulhof mourned the Turks, because he liked them better than than the Christians.

    2.
    Schulhof was sad because his family and community were murdered and robbed in 1686.
    The Jews are now sad because their families and communities were murdered and robbed in 1944.

    3.
    Bencsik PUBLICLY ridicules Schulhoff’s mourning of hiss loss,
    but he PRIVATELY ridicules the Jews of 2014 for mourning their loss in 1944 in private.

  11. Eva S. Balogh :

    Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10) :
    “In comparison Russia is the home of tolerance.” Sure. És Amerikában meg verik a négereket, comrade Bencsik! Konstantin Dolgov must love you…
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/23/us-russia-gay-eu-idUSBREA0M1SL20140123

    Marcel, you don’t understand. Gays are something else.

    You mean the whole 153 pages of the report are about that? I knew they were obsessed, but…

    Just for fun, a except of the pages dedicated to Hungary in last year’s Russian report (which was only 65 pages so I guess the EU is dangerously slipping, must be that gay thing):

    “In particular, a new Constitution of Hungary which entered into force on January 1, 2012 draws criticism. According to experts, the document does not fully correspond to European democratic criteria, because it upsets the “system of checks and balances” adopted in Western countries.

    It also contains references to “the great history of the Hungarian nation” and “the role of Christian values” in its formation. Of particular concern is the declared policy towards revising the modern history and the results of the Second World War. Thus, in the preamble to the Constitution it is stated that Hungary allegedly lost its state sovereignty on March 19, 1944 (the entry of German troops on the territory of the Hungary that was a Germany’s ally) and regained it only on May 2, 1990. Thus, the document puts a sign of equality between the Nazi occupation and expulsion of German and Hungarian fascists from the territory of Hungary. All the decisions adopted by the “illegitimate leadership” in that period are declared null and void. This approach contradicts the international legal realities, because there is an indirect attempt to revise the results of world wars and the existing state borders. We share the conclusions of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, which carried out the analysis of the Hungarian Constitution and prepared a comprehensive report on it.”

    Golly! Even super-tolerant Russia…

  12. The Russia-worshipping Peace March with all the deranged theories behind it, is now a sign of insanity.

    There are no better words.

    But do not expect any Fidesznik to ask any questions about this u-turn. Those Fidesznik politicians who remained with Fidesz, were selected for their unquestioned loyalty, so they all support Paks II, any necessary dams, or the denouncement of the US (it will soon be the Satan, I am sure) and the sudden worship of Russia (Jobbik already do all these).

    Nobody has in Fidesz the right to make statements alone like Gulyas or Martonyi did. That is unthinkable. There is no question that Gulyas and others are not MPs in any Western meaning of the word. They have only one job: to execute the command from above. Now that command is to kick into the US. Especially now that Russia is with us and will protect us, after all it is now their interest too to protect their business from any interference (including domestic opposition). ‘Remember US, you can defeat anybody in the world, but you cannot defeat Russia (and China perhaps) and Russia now protects us.’

    On the sanitized (very diplomatic) origo.hu (don’t forget Fidesz has been wanting to acquire it for some time and most likely it will be up for sale in 2014), however, the relevant article received by far the highest ever number of comments, and shares. Not the absolute numbers are the important but that on the most popular internet site this has resulted in the most excitement.

    I think the median, less committed people are just asking: has everybody gone mad? I certainly feel so.

  13. Reading Bencsik’s facebook page, I have the impression that Orban scored an own goal with this “love Russia, hate US” campaign.

  14. buddy :
    Interestingly, Gulyás also claimed in his letter that “a rendszerváltás óta soha nem volt annyi külföldi tőkebefektetés Magyarországon, mint tavaly”, or that there was more foreign capital investment in Hungary last year than any year since the regime change.
    Granted, I don’t have the data myself, but if that’s really true, I’ll eat my hat. Probably the actual data for 2013 isn’t available yet, but does anybody have the estimates for FDI in Hungary last year?

    Ahh that sneaky Hungarian mindset! I suspect that, when push comes to shove on this question, Gulyas will switch tracks (in typical Orban fashion) and say, “Well look at all the people investing in Hungarian government bonds!” I’ll bet on it.

    As for those bonds, scratch that particular American investment office and you might well find that the purchaser is Prokhorov or some other arm of Putin’s ‘foreign service’…(Allow me to refresh readers’ memories: When Putin declared that he wasn’t going to Switzerland to try and get the 2018 World Cup, he sent in his stead that Abramovitch-fella (of the longest yacht) with an entourage of some 40. Mr. Blatter was so overwhelmed by this entourage (not to mention the 20 million euros he was reported to have found in his pocket) that his compatriots quickly voted the cup to Russia…and, as a throw-in, gave the 2022 World Cup to Qatar (over the United States, no less)–that same little Middle East nation where temperatures soar to 50C during the summer. Qatar also has no stadiums.)

    Russky capitalism permutating into foreign policy. Does this sound familiar?

  15. the right wing intellectuals are failing the nation again.
    they will vote again for this illiberal team guided by finkelstein.
    they are ready to follow the most idiotic leaders with cheap patriotic nonsense packages.
    rakosi would be acceptable to them if he had uttered a few sentimental turul stories.

    The bajnais and mesterhazys have got no brain. Have they read Hungarian history books? Can they quote one Deak story?

  16. 1.
    Socio-psychological observation of the Fidesz fans by A. Tota:

    The aged supporters of Fidesz seek community feeling

    hvg. hu/itthon/20140123_Almodik_a_nyomor_rezsi_magyar_csapat

    2.
    Here is a medieval description of a “peace march”

    upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d9/Pied_Piper2.jpg

  17. We do not need a brainless fashion designer to represent the US in Hungary.

    One should dread the disastrous performance of her in the US congress. Totally unqualified political appointee like Monica of Clintons.

  18. History Teacher,

    Oh, Rakosi would absolutely be acceptable, except that he was a Jew. So a gentile Rakosi, yes, by all means, please, at last.

    Hungarian right wing intellectual are first and foremost right wingers, you know. And a true right winger would rather cut his own leg than vote for Jews aka the leftists who really are just liberal-communist or liberal-fascist (come to think of it) plotters aka Jews. Nah. So, to the contrary, rather than failing the nation, right wingers are the real defenders of the nation against you know who.

  19. tappanch:

    we have been saying over and over again that Fidesz wins by creating a community. People do crave community.

    But the liberal, leftist, rationalist, technocratic politicians do not care about this, understand this, perhaps because they actually have such a community of friends, colleagues, class mates, relatives etc. So they can allow themselves (others) to be individualistic, because implicitly there is always a community behind them or are anyway in a web of OK personal relations.

    But most Hungarian people are alone and anxious, all research shows that they have very few friends, no self-confidence to exist alone, although they would love to have a great, loving family and be in a community. So there you go.

    Fidesz at every turn is trying to create communities (which of course it will want to lead and tie to Fidesz), whether they are sports clubs or religious organization. And lo and behold all of them from the national association of engineers to trade unions to any church organizations, all support Fidesz and would never dare to say anything against the official line. Are we still surprized that Orban can order 100.000 people for tomorrow to support the everlasting Soviet-Hungarian friendship?

    No such thinking (let alone strategy or execution of a strategy) about community even exists on the left. They are doomed even if they somehow win this election, they will have zero defense against the imminent attacks Fidesz will unleash.

    The point of Tota W’s article is not what you mention but rather that there were 1.500 or more well-dressed, disciplined people in attendance (vs. Gyurcsany, who is happy and triumphant if he can collect 250 people), all of whom are ready to march as told by the campaign machinery.

    Btw all the Fidesz campaign meetings are full of people (which shows how well-organized and well-practices their machinery already is), all of whom are enthusiastically participate in the campaign.

  20. buddy :
    Interestingly, Gulyás also claimed in his letter that “a rendszerváltás óta soha nem volt annyi külföldi tőkebefektetés Magyarországon, mint tavaly”, or that there was more foreign capital investment in Hungary last year than any year since the regime change.
    Granted, I don’t have the data myself, but if that’s really true, I’ll eat my hat. Probably the actual data for 2013 isn’t available yet, but does anybody have the estimates for FDI in Hungary last year?

    I think what he is referring to the EU funds (there was a record withdrawal of EU funds this year, after the EU released some withheld funds), not FDI. It does show up as forex money coming into Hungary, thought these are not investments by foreign private businesses. I think he may be intentionally trying to tout EU monies coming in as “foreign capital investment.”

  21. The Fidesz and Jobbik in Hungary are like the flees trying to get on a dog. Just have to put some flee powder on any dog, and the flees drop dead.
    But seriously, I am sure that the CIA is paying attention of the implementation of the “OPENING TO THE EAST” by the half-with Stadionos viktor and his motley crew of thieves, who would like to make connections and be of service for a fee to the terrorists in Iran, Syria and other fun places. There are few base and vile animals worse than the nefarious, low-down and stupid Fidesz party members, and they all belong to North Korea.

  22. Good editorial piece. Exciting debate.

    As usual I dont get into specifics but look at the process that is unveiled – and how and if my own experience relates to it. And it does.

    The constantly shifting attitudes of Orban is a mind-set, an attitude that I constantly come up against in Hungary!

    While you may be treated as a friend one day, if it’s not a close or is a professional acquaintance your valuation and treatment may be the opposite the next day. Shifting winds. Particularly if you gaive away details of your PROVENANCE.

    So I am careful not to be unnecessarily identified as an *American or a Swiss or of a paricular religion*. I keep my cards close to myself. Because each one of the three options is a very potential hook that the disjointed mind of an ill-adjusted Hungarian will or could use against you.

    (The following may be deemed a generalisation – and it is. I use it as such because of its prevalence as opposed to my experience having lived and worked in numerous other countries).

    So, to continue, — depending on his or her ‘day’ (how they are feeling about themselves or you or of the world… or about the qualification (the above three provenances)… Consequently in their mind you can be perceived as a danger or an object of criticism

    Paranoia? No. Just personal experience in Nograd Megye – an oldstyle community stuck 80+ years behind the times.

    And the above is not so dissimilar to Orban’s mind of twists and turns, depending on his whims and prejudices of the day. In Orbans case he actually uses this ability to change his attitude daily into a political tool – whoever comes ‘kapóra’ (ready for the billing – or the approriate one to be hung on the hook).

    One day its the EU, the next day it is the EU commissioner for this or for that, the thrid day it is the Israeli Spy agency, the fourth day it is the hungry Israel for Hungarian Land, the fifth day its the Jewish philosophers, the next day the liberal creative person or persons, the following day its Gyurcsany, then come the ‘Amchis’ (Yankees), or the Swiss banking system, or other tax avoidance havens. Mind you, in his secret double-standard he and cohorts may well be using just these tools for their own benefit… and on and on goes the round-about.

    I do hope Orban will soon become dizzy with his panoply of perceived enemies, and maybe – just maybe – he might land up in Lipótmező or similar (psych. institution) so people will see he is not to be trusted or relied upon.

  23. Maybe a positive sign:

    Europe is watching Hungary and Eastern Europe in general, here’s an example. Today two articles (each almost half a page) appeared in our local Schwab newspaper:

    One contained interviews with academics from the Ukraine teaching or working at our university who were really critical on the West’s inactivity there.

    The other described an evening by the Friedrich Ebert foundation (associated with our Social Democrat Party SPD) where the right wing movements in Croatia, Hungary and Poland were described and discussed.

    The Hungarian representative Tamás Pál (Director of the institute of sociology at the Budapest academy of science – if I got it right) clearly said that 30 % of Hungarians are strongly antisemitic and even 70 % are anti-Roma …

    The audience was shocked it seems …

  24. Orban is chosing his virtual enemies to gang up against during the pre-ection months.

    The strategy is quite astute as he will be providing a focal point for the population’s dissatisfaction with the current negatives in their perceived economic conditions, and for the vast majority of voters the anti-Amereican rhetoric rings a familar bell, one that is now becoming equivalent to a gut reaction to all ills, just like the old enemy called the Jewish people…

    The process is nothing other than choosing one or more scapegoats to blame.

    Choosing a powerful enemy like the USA seems defeatist – But you can imagine the small dog barking away at the big dogs and you get the picture. A paper tiger. Or the king not believing he is bare and broke.. Who is it if it isnt Victor ORBAN!

  25. Andy, it is the campaign, but more importantly there is conviction behind it.

    The biggest mistake to make is to think it is just for show.

    No, the interests are aligned: campaign and conviction.

    There is one underlying common theme on the Hungarian right wing and that is that all of them hate capitalism. In fact, all parts of the Hungarian right would like to have an even bigger state ownership, less competition, less influence from capitalist countries. As historian Krisztian Ungvary showed it right wing (former arrow-cross) political prisoners talked in the 1950’s half-jokingly (but only half) about that they would have actually liked the Rakosi-system, but for the fact that there were too many Jews in the leadership.

    Just because Fidesz pays a lot to Republican spin meisters and have a beer with them from time to time does not mean in any way that Fidesz would like America. To the contrary, I have never actually met a real right winger who would have liked the US even the slightest, they tolerate the US and accept their influence to a degree, but never liked it. They instinctively resist anything from America (except for elections know-how). Of course Orban and his friends can charm the hell out of any ambassador at any 4th of July party, and Martonyi will remain the perennial nice guy whom we can always talk to with a sort notice, but hopefully appearances will not deceive the Americans.

    It is another issue to get in bed with the Russians, however, but there the interests are aligned too. Very much so. The Russians let Orban and his circle to stay in power (by allowing him to play tricks with energy prices) and allow such fideszniks to get rich beyond even their wildest dreams and at the same time the Russians get Hungary back to the orbit of Little Mother Russia (and they too make a lot of money).

  26. wolfi :
    Maybe a positive sign:
    Europe is watching Hungary and Eastern Europe in general, here’s an example. Today two articles (each almost half a page) appeared in our local Schwab newspaper:
    One contained interviews with academics from the Ukraine teaching or working at our university who were really critical on the West’s inactivity there.
    The other described an evening by the Friedrich Ebert foundation (associated with our Social Democrat Party SPD) where the right wing movements in Croatia, Hungary and Poland were described and discussed.
    The Hungarian representative Tamás Pál (Director of the institute of sociology at the Budapest academy of science – if I got it right) clearly said that 30 % of Hungarians are strongly antisemitic and even 70 % are anti-Roma …
    The audience was shocked it seems …

    I quoted the latest research on the topic from szombat.org a few days ago. It found that

    15-16% of Hungarians are hard-core anti-Semites (they would basically repeat the Holocaust), and another
    21-24% are antisemitic to a lesser degree.

    This leaves 60% of Hungarians sane, to put a positive spin on it.

    I also suspect that the much more numerous Gypsies are hated even more, although for different psychological reasons.

  27. Eva S. Balogh :
    Marijuana. It wasn’t I who mentioned it but Bencsik. Here his intention is to blacken the name of the American president as a man who promotes illicit drugs. Another attack on the United States.

    Yes what I was trying to say that it was really bizzare “in the link” of which I meant that Bencsik facebook that you linked. (First I didn’t find it but then I found it while typing) It jumps out of the Bencsik text immediately, a really strange addition. It is completely disconnected from the rest of the Bencsik text.

  28. I believe Zelei is absolutely correct. Unfortunately, to the extent American politicians think about Hungary, which, with the rare exception, is infrequently, there is an element of the Republican congressional caucus (eg, Chris Smith of NJ) who like Orban because they see him as aggressively pro-Christian, pro “family values” and anti-abortion. In the context of the U.S. cultural wars this is more important than the fact that Orban and Fidesz are radicals (and deeply anti-American) in conservatives’ clothing. BTW, it seems there is certainly an element among the EU countries and the European Council that seem also to regard Orban and Fidesz as natural allies (see: Poland for example) and will “protect” this Government in Brussels. As for Poland, I have also felt sometimes that the Civic Platform’s support for FIDESZ is a bit of a zero sum calculation. The more Orban is allowed to destroy Hungary’s competitiveness and attractiveness for FDI, the better Poland and other CEE countries will be placed to benefit.

  29. Here is a 2012 article on the topic from a journal.

    “According to our research findings, during the first decade and a half
    after the fall of communism, 10%-15% of the Hungarian adult population
    held strong antisemitic prejudice. Anti-Jewish sentiment was reactive to
    political campaigns: antisemitism increased in election years and then fell
    back to its previous level. This trend altered after 2006, and the surveys
    indicate an increase in prejudice since 2009. The increase in the percentage
    of antisemites is related in large part to a substantial decrease in latency, but
    an increase in the number of people harboring such prejudice in society is
    probable.”

    “We hypothesized that support for a far-right party is not a consequence of antisemitism, but—conversely—should be regarded as a factor that mobilizes attitudes leading to antisemitism and that directs people toward antisemitism. Thus, antisemitism is—at least in
    large part—a consequence of an attraction to the far right rather than an explanation for it.”

    p. 465
    http://web.ceu.hu/jewishstudies

  30. tetscher :
    Fidesz at every turn is trying to create communities (which of course it will want to lead and tie to Fidesz), whether they are sports clubs or religious organization. And lo and behold all of them from the national association of engineers to trade unions to any church organizations, all support Fidesz and would never dare to say anything against the official line. Are we still surprized that Orban can order 100.000 people for tomorrow to support the everlasting Soviet-Hungarian friendship?

    Quite an interesting point.

    Coming from a country where the Left is very strong in the self-organized parts of civil society, I’ve regularly been surprised at the very poor level of mobilization displayed by the Hungarian Left. Last year only, the civil response to issues like the homeless being fined in city centers, or asylum seekers, seemed extremely faint – if hardly noticeable.

    If what you write now is correct – and I have the feeling it is – then the Left in this country has a very, very long way to go before they can come back to power – and hold it.

    PS: I seem to remember reading somewhere that in the interwar period, the Hungarian Right was extremely good at organising communities, often pre-empting issues that should have been owned by the (authorized) Left…

  31. “Attacking” America seems to be a fairly safe strategy, after all America is going to do nothing to retaliate; they probably won’t even notice.

    I wonder what will happen to Viktor’s Russian strategy if Russian “peace-keepers” end up being deployed in Ukraine?

  32. It is clear from K. Ungvary’s article that the Germans arrested only two members of the pre-March 19 cabinet, premier Kállay and minister Keresztes-Fischer.

  33. New projects for Orban:

    135 meter tall memorial of the Turkmen Constitution, built in 2011:

  34. tappanch :

    It is clear from K. Ungvary’s article that the Germans arrested only two members of the pre-March 19 cabinet, premier Kállay and minister Keresztes-Fischer.

    At the same time in FAZ on can read about thousands of Hungarian politicians arrested. I don’t know where they got their information.

  35. You are all overreating, as usual, with Eva in the lead. There is anti-Americanism everywhere is Europe, indeed in the world. OV is making some political hay out of it. People in Hungary always accused successive governments of neglecting the eastern market. It’s all politics.

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