Gábor Vona’s letter to Congressman Joseph Crowley

Gábor Vona, Varánus.blog.hu

You may recall that back in June I published a facsimile of a letter sent by fifty U.S. congressmen to Viktor Orbán expressing their concern over the growing antisemitism in Hungary. In addition, the letter called attention to the treatment of  homosexuals, specifically mentioning the employment of Róbert Alföldi, director of the Hungarian National Theater. The letter also called attention to the discrimination against  the Roma population. The man who initiated sending this letter was Joseph Crowley, a Democrat from the State of New York.

The letter was actually criticized by some people in Hungary as putting the blame for the rise of antisemitism exclusively on Jobbik, the party of the extreme right in Hungary, when the current Hungarian government should share in the blame.

All that was detailed in a post entitled “Letters back and forth: Will they change the course of events in Hungary?” Here I’m publishing a letter by Gábor Vona, the party chief of Jobbik, to Congressman Crowley. It seems that Vona felt compelled to react to the contents of  the letter and to teach Joseph Crowley a thing or two. The letter is published verbatim, with all its grammatical errors. I think this letter says a lot about Jobbik and its leaders.

* * *

Mr. Joseph Crowley

Member of Congress

United States House of Representatives

Washington. DC

Budapest-11 July, 2012

Dear Congressman Crowley,

The predominant part of the letter written by you and forty-nine other representatives to Viktor Orban is related to Jobbik and what the Prime Minister should do to subdue us.

First of all, I would like to remind you that nearly one million people’s vote legitimize us in the Hungarian public life which we have gained in a democratic election in 2010, and according to the polls our popularity has only been increasing ever since. You do not mean that all these people in our country are extremists or racist citizens, do you? It was not Jobbik that you insulted, excluded and stigmatized but our voters; which not only was an irresponsible act but a serious self-contradiction, as well, since you have just ignored your own values you referred to.

I am sorry that your Budapest representation has forgotten to inform you that in the Hungarian parliamentary democracy, just like in the US, every party is responsible for itself. We do not write a letter to Barack Hussein Obama because of Councilman Charles Barron of New York, likewise a Democratic Party member, who, during his competition for Congress on the 11th of June lost against his opponent, stated earlier: “the Gaza Strip is a virtual death camp, the same kind of conditions the Nazis imposed on the Jews “.

In your letter, you logically refer to the Anti-Defamation League since this organization, together with the pro-Israel lobbies, provides the largest share of the funding for your political campaigns. Thus, we understand your diligence that as a superpower you must act to please the league in matters such as the homosexuality of the theatre director Róbert Alföldi, which must obviously be deeply troubling for the American people.

We–and the peoples of the world–are more concerned that after having destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan and caused the death of hundreds of thousands, you will do the same with Iran, who has not initiated a war against any country for centuries; just because Israel commands you to pretend that Teheran possesses nuclear weapons. And it is not only the Muslim world with its 1.3 billion population but all the benevolent peoples of the Earth who are equally worried that you provide an annual support of 3.5 billion dollars for your strategic ally, Israel who, according to former president James Carter, operates an apartheid system that kills thousands of civilians sometimes in Lebanon other times in Palestine.

If the representatives are interested in the politics of Jobbik, I will be very pleased to present you the reality. I would like to tell you in advance that in Jobbik’s political agenda or bills there is not one single point that would make a distinction between citizens by their religion or race. In fact, we are the only party in Hungary that has constantly been arguing to have the same rules and laws applied for everyone, and that no one should be treated with either negative or positive discrimination. I hope that I will be able to personally change your surprising anti-democratic views that condemn people for their political affiliation or Hungarian nationality. I also hope that I can draw your attention to the truly intolerable situation of Hungarian minorities living in the neighboring countries and tormented by chauvinism, as well as to the present vulnerable and exploited state of our truncated motherland. I am convinced that your sensitivity and sympathy for the prostrate and the down-trodden would certainly prompt you to support our cause after learning the hardships of Hungary.

Yours sincerely,

Vona Gábor

President of Jobbik

Leader of Parlamentary Group Jobbik

71 comments

  1. Thanks Eva for publishing this. Orbán has told the congressmen, they should forbid the servers in the USA to have kuruc info as client. Vona gives an important lesson to those Hungarians who claim Jobbik is a democratic party and a possible coalition partner of Fidesz in the near future.

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  2. Here’s a quick quiz. One of these sentences is probably not true. Can you guess what it is?

    1) “In Jobbik’s political agenda or bills there is not one single point that would make a distinction between citizens by their religion or race. In fact, we are the only party in Hungary that has constantly been arguing to have the same rules and laws applied for everyone, and that no one should be treated with either negative or positive discrimination.”

    2) Jobbik said in a statement that only people with a primary-level education should be allowed to vote, to prevent the impoverished, illiterate population (i.e. Roma) from voting.

    3) Gabor Vona, on the Euro (gay) Games being held in Budapest: “God is my witness, it’s not some kind of homophobia but merely common decency that makes me say that this really is the end of the world.”

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  3. ” In fact, we are the only party in Hungary that has constantly been arguing to have the same rules and laws applied for everyone, and that no one should be treated with either negative or positive discrimination.”

    Wow this great! Seems Vona has stated that he has changed Jobbik’s platform to allow gay marriage, adoptions by gays, both Roma and non-Roma kids will get to go to the boarding schools he has proposed, and he no longer believes in “Gypsy crime” as a special category of crime. Who knows maybe in his next letter to a US congressional member will include a statement about welcoming Jews into his party?

    Hey Vona’s party doesn’t even discriminate against suspected war criminals. Recently, his deputy chairmen, Előd Novák, joined the Guards of the Carpathian Homeland (Kárpát Haza Őrei Mozgalom) in a pro-László Csatáry rally.

    What a fine group of progressive politicians!

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  4. Well I’ve read a lot worse Hungarian English – some of it on here – so I think having a go at him for his English is a bit silly. How many of us native English speakers could write such a letter in Hungarian?

    And it’s hard to argue against the points he makes on the US and Israel. I’m no apologist for Fidesz-Jobbik, in fact very far from it, but as long as Israel continues to behave as it does, and as long as the US continues its vast and unconditional support for such a rogue and apartheid country, the loonies of this world will always have strong ‘arguments’ on their side and willing recruits.

    As I have said before, Israel and the US provide the terrorists and the loonies with the oxygen of ‘justification’.

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  5. The United States has earned, in many people’s opinion, a reputation as a greedy bully — and its representatives often seem happy to point out the mote in others’ eyes whilst ignoring the beam in their own.

    Not, of course, that one wrong excuses another. If Hungarian politics are on the wrong track they should be set onto the right one, regardless of the crimes of American politics. However, some exasperation with those who preach water but guzzle wine is understandable, even forgivable.

    Vona could have been more concise, to be sure. “Mind your own business, Representative Crowley,” would have sufficed.

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  6. nyaripal :
    Well I’ve read a lot worse Hungarian English – some of it on here – so I think having a go at him for his English is a bit silly. How many of us native English speakers could write such a letter in Hungarian?
    And it’s hard to argue against the points he makes on the US and Israel. I’m no apologist for Fidesz-Jobbik, in fact very far from it, but as long as Israel continues to behave as it does, and as long as the US continues its vast and unconditional support for such a rogue and apartheid country, the loonies of this world will always have strong ‘arguments’ on their side and willing recruits.
    As I have said before, Israel and the US provide the terrorists and the loonies with the oxygen of ‘justification’.

    This position is the same with those who claim that we (the US) deserved 9/11, actually that we provoked it.

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  7. London Calling!

    Only one problem Vona that you ignore: Iran has already publicly declared that they will destroy Israel when/if it can.

    Interesting that he refers to the President by including his middle name: “Barack Hussein Obama” – and no one else’s. It’s racist of course.

    “And we’ve asked Csanád Szegedi to stand down – not because of his Jewish ancestry – oh no – we’re not Anti-Semites – but because he tried to bribe someone”

    http://www.politics.hu/20120731/jobbik-asks-szegedi-to-step-down-following-euro-mps-disclosure-of-jewish-roots/#commentbottom

    A thoroughly nasty politician in a thoroughly nasty party.

    The warped logic and the sinister undertones shame Hungary in the eyes of the world – and he alleges he speaks for 10% of the populace.

    It does you no good, Hungary.

    (I was just thinking about the many ethnic groups that have been on show at the Olympics here in London – all those different melting pot ethnic smiling happy people that make up London – Hungarians must wonder how we live so closely – and in the main – so peacefully? It’s due to our tolerance and equal treatment of everyone. Maybe you will understand the importance of the political climate? Or maybe not.)

    Regards

    Charlie

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  8. “This position is the same with those who claim that we (the US) deserved 9/11, actually that we provoked it.”

    How on earth can you justify this crazy statement? In no way do I believe this or support anyone else with this view (nor simmilar views on the 7/7 bombings in the UK). But the way Israel behaves and the results of that behaviour are facts, not opinions – ditto the support given by the US. Their actions may not create terrorism, or justify it, but they certainly fuel it.

    Instead of leaping to such an easy response, why not stop to consider why the US gives unconditional support to Israel and whether it should? And while you’re ast it, why not read up on Israel’s behaviou toward the Palestinians (both in the occupied territories and Israel’s own citizens)? You won’t find this too difficult, there are plenty of sources out there.

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  9. Charlie – I’m not sure of the veracity of this, but apparently there are actually more countries of the world represented in the population of London than there are taking part in the Olympics!

    I’m not proud of much about the UK, but, if this is true, I am very proud indeed to come from such a country and such a city.

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  10. Returning to the original subject to me it seems this greedy evil bastard USA is stepping up against the racism in Hungary while 500 thousand of our citizens are happily marching behind the biggest anti-Semites. I’d say get the f* the USA for now. We have things to do at home. We should not bash again the ones who do the job for us.

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  11. nyaripal :
    Well I’ve read a lot worse Hungarian English – some of it on here – so I think having a go at him for his English is a bit silly. How many of us native English speakers could write such a letter in Hungarian?

    Humm, a leader of a national party writing a letter to a US congressman wouldn’t bother to have the letter vetted by a native english speaker… compared to gramatical mistakes on a blog… I get your point… shame on us.

    What I like is the comment that Iran hasn’t started a war for centuries. Hummm, ok, the Persian Gulf war was technically started by Iraq but it you go a back a few years you see Iraq’s military out and about grabbing territory from it’s much weaker neighbours. A number of clashes with Russia.. some started by Iran, some started by Russia.

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  12. nyaripal :
    Well I’ve read a lot worse Hungarian English – some of it on here – so I think having a go at him for his English is a bit silly. How many of us native English speakers could write such a letter in Hungarian?
    And it’s hard to argue against the points he makes on the US and Israel. I’m no apologist for Fidesz-Jobbik, in fact very far from it, but as long as Israel continues to behave as it does, and as long as the US continues its vast and unconditional support for such a rogue and apartheid country, the loonies of this world will always have strong ‘arguments’ on their side and willing recruits.
    As I have said before, Israel and the US provide the terrorists and the loonies with the oxygen of ‘justification’.

    It would be nice if people would bother to figure out a few things rather than look to their
    preferred ‘experts’ to direct their thinking.

    Back when… Barak gave Arafat a peace deal that was unprecedented. I forget the year.
    Arafat was stuck. It was difficult to reject on reasonable grounds. Finally, he came up
    with ‘the right of return’ as a condition for any peace deal. End of negotiations.
    Let’s try and figure this out. Someone–let’s guess, the Saudis, the biggest oil producer–needs a continual conflict to keep the price of oil hight. For that matter, the Russians need
    troubled Mid East conditions even more.

    Does it become a little clearer why the Russians are stoking the Syrian problem; and why religious fundamentalists (whose leaders are mostly based in Saudi Arabia) are continuing
    fundamentalist agitation around the world?

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  13. Wondercat :
    The United States has earned, in many people’s opinion, a reputation as a greedy bully — and its representatives often seem happy to point out the mote in others’ eyes whilst ignoring the beam in their own.
    Not, of course, that one wrong excuses another. If Hungarian politics are on the wrong track they should be set onto the right one, regardless of the crimes of American politics. However, some exasperation with those who preach water but guzzle wine is understandable, even forgivable.
    Vona could have been more concise, to be sure. “Mind your own business, Representative Crowley,” would have sufficed.

    “Mind your own business”..huh?
    Nice.
    Read much history lately?
    America had to be dragged screaming and fighting into both world wars. Without their involvement, the world would have a certain nazi tinge to it. And yet, short-sighted nincompoops keep repeating idiotic, Soviet, disinformation about American economic imperialism and the like. Tell me, what kind of ‘markets’ must the US win to make up the hundreds of billions of dollars they spent in Iraq?

    American imperialism, huh? Any of you geniuses ever hear of the Marshall Plan?
    What about the rebuilding of Japan?
    Hmmm, no big deal: the Russians rebuilt, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Cuba…etc. etc.

    I recommend that some of you anti-American turkeys go to Russia for your next holiday…

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  14. I think that the discussions regarding Palestine, Israel and American imperialism, as interesting as they are, are playing right into Vona’s hands.

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  15. nyaripal :
    “This position is the same with those who claim that we (the US) deserved 9/11, actually that we provoked it.”
    How on earth can you justify this crazy statement? In no way do I believe this or support anyone else with this view (nor simmilar views on the 7/7 bombings in the UK). But the way Israel behaves and the results of that behaviour are facts, not opinions – ditto the support given by the US. Their actions may not create terrorism, or justify it, but they certainly fuel it.
    Instead of leaping to such an easy response, why not stop to consider why the US gives unconditional support to Israel and whether it should? And while you’re ast it, why not read up on Israel’s behaviou toward the Palestinians (both in the occupied territories and Israel’s own citizens)? You won’t find this too difficult, there are plenty of sources out there.

    It seems that I keep getting into discussions that belong to other blogs. However, this requires a response. The way Israel behaves, although I don’t agree with everything they do, has easy explanations. It is a country that is surrounded by people who do not want to give up (even theoretically) their goal of destroying it, of killing its inhabitants. It was attacked continuously during its short existence either through wars or through terror. It won all its wars and it tried to negotiate a return to normalcy. But the Palestinians responded to each attempt with more terror. I am curious how other countries would handle this kind of background? So, I don’t buy the unilateral condemnation of Israel by bleeding hearts, who just choose to ignore the rest of the story.

    I don’t care about Vona’s and his ilk’s condemnation of Israel. They will use any method to express their antisemitism, that is what it is based on only. I am almost certain, that if through some kind of rapture the Jews from Hungary would disappear, their interest in Palestinians would suddenly vanish. I am surprised that they don’t come up with a description of how India suppresses some minorities, to justify their anti-Roma sentiments and actions.

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  16. nyaripal :
    Well I’ve read a lot worse Hungarian English – some of it on here – so I think having a go at him for his English is a bit silly. How many of us native English speakers could write such a letter in Hungarian?

    Well at least I do not have to apologize either to Kovacs or to Nyaripal for my impulse posts that I do not even spell-check. THen again I do not send my posts to congress members and want my opinion to be considered by them. Heck, I am not even an elected representative of Hungary. I guess when the time comes to send an official letter, I will not only read it through, but maybe ask some of my editor friends to check it. If I would represent a political party, I would even consider to pay for such service. (By the way when the sewer needed to be cleaned out on our street and I sent an email to the city I asked my daughter (who won several English awards and had the highest English mark in her grade) to proof the letter just in case. I expect from an elected politician at least that much.

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  17. nyaripal :
    And it’s hard to argue against the points he makes on the US and Israel. I’m no apologist for Fidesz-Jobbik, in fact very far from it, but as long as Israel continues to behave as it does, and as long as the US continues its vast and unconditional support for such a rogue and apartheid country, the loonies of this world will always have strong ‘arguments’ on their side and willing recruits.
    As I have said before, Israel and the US provide the terrorists and the loonies with the oxygen of ‘justification’.

    I asked you before to please leave out your opinion regarding this issues. It does not belong here. If you want to discuss this you have to go on another blog. I do not agree with your opinion, but I will not hijack Eva’s blog to engage in debate that does not belong here. WE already have a person here who constantly tried to hijack this blog with non-relevant issues. I wish we would leave it like that, as I very much value your point of view regarding the affairs of Hungary. THanks for your understanding.

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  18. Wondercat :
    The United States has earned, in many people’s opinion, a reputation as a greedy bully — and its representatives often seem happy to point out the mote in others’ eyes whilst ignoring the beam in their own.
    Not, of course, that one wrong excuses another. If Hungarian politics are on the wrong track they should be set onto the right one, regardless of the crimes of American politics. However, some exasperation with those who preach water but guzzle wine is understandable, even forgivable.
    Vona could have been more concise, to be sure. “Mind your own business, Representative Crowley,” would have sufficed.

    WEll at least someone has the guts ti speak up for ALL Hungarians and for democracy, if the many spineless Hungarians can’t. Many Hungarians have this idea that they would only take criticism if it would be arrive from Jesus himself , but let me enlighten you, when Jesus will come back and will extend his hands to his Jewish father, and will embrace his gay brothers, Jobbik would write him off as a Jew, while Fidesz would write him off as a foreigner who wants to be involved with Hungarian affairs.

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  19. @Petofi1, @Some1: Thank you for your responses.

    Petofi1, you write, in part, “America had to be dragged screaming and fighting into both world wars.” Very true. That is older history, though; and more recent history is worth a glance.

    In the more than seventy years since America was dragged screaming, etc., into World War II, may America have changed? I think that it may have done.

    I think that America now picks fights where the America of eighty years ago might have said, “Friend, I have no quarrel with you. Go you your way and I shall go mine.”

    Perhaps Vona should have been emollient, writing — “Representative Crowley, thank you for your concern. Hungary has many problems. We are doing our best to solve them, and we welcome suggestions and advice, including suggestions and advice of the sort that we should not presume to offer to the United States. Please continue to share your thoughts on Hungary with us” — go you your way, and we shall go ours, in effect.

    Some1, taking time away from His family reunion, Jesus has already said, on behalf of Vona:

    Avagy mi módon mondhatod a te atyádfiának: Hadd vessem ki a szálkát a te szemedbõl; holott ímé, a te szemedben gerenda van?

    Even He had his testy moments, it seems.

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  20. I am afraid that Jobbik is a totally illegal organisation in Hungary! The present Hungarian Government and the previous administration are both at fault for not dismantling it as they are required to do.

    Article 4 Section 2 (Treaty of Paris 1947)
    Hungary, which in accordance with the Armistice Agreement has taken measures for dissolving all organisations of a Fascist type on Hungarian territory, whether political, military or para-military, as well as other organisations conducting propaganda, including revisionist propaganda, hostile to the United Nations, shall not permit in future the existence and activities of organisations of that nature which have as their aim denial to the people of their democratic rights.

    Humph! This could also include Fidesz as well as Jobbik

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  21. Wondercat :
    The United States has earned, in many people’s opinion, a reputation as a greedy bully

    When I think of all the corruption that is rampant here.. I just had to laugh at how this comment started.

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    1. @LwiiH: **grin** Day-to-day life in the United States is likely less corrupt than in Hungary, to be sure. And someone who has just been shaken down by a rogue constable is likely to see the face of that member of the rendorseg when (s)he thinks “greedy bully”. I meant something different — aspects of world politics, “projecting force beyond national borders”, “protection of national interests overseas”. (Hungary has been spared some of that. Even her last admiral didn’t have to worry about military protection of national interests overseas.)

      The phrase “greedy bully” may apply beyond the actions of the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce, however. Interesting to me is what appears a crumbling of civility, of the instinct to look out for one’s neighbour — “neighbour” widely defined, mind you — in the United States. What are we all supposed to have learnt as children? That to get along, we must share. With regard to access to medical care, to transportation, and to education (this is not a complete list), developments in United States politics suggest that citizens of the United States seem to have forgot how to share. Could they be starting to model their actions in daily life on those of their government on the world stage?

      Sorry for an off-topic excursion. Back to Vona’s bad English syntax, everyone.

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  22. OK, I’ll keep this brief – my point about Israel and their actions (facts, not opinions) is that they and the US are giving people like Jobbik an open goal. It’s very hard to argue with Jobbik supporters when they can make valid points like this in their ‘defence’. But, as always, when someone points out Israel’s rogue behaviour and how dangerous it is for the world, they get jumped upon by all and sundry – often with more heat than knowledge.

    As for the quality of the English, I was merely pointing out that, to a native English speaker, it didn’t seem that bad, in fact it’s about ‘normal’ for Hungarian politicians writing in English. As I said, I have read much worse on here – and, no, I wasn’t thinking of any specific posters, especially not regular ones!

    Overall, my comments were intended only to point out that Jobbik have a great deal to be attacked on, but Vona’s command of written English is hardly a key issue, and that, as long as the US and Israel behave as they do, the terrorists and loonies will always have a big propaganda plus on their side which is very difficult for us to argue against.

    Interesting just how many oh-so-sensitive toes I managed to unintentionally tread on though…

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  23. Wondercat :
    @Petofi1, @Some1: Thank you for your responses.
    Petofi1, you write, in part, “America had to be dragged screaming and fighting into both world wars.” Very true. That is older history, though; and more recent history is worth a glance.
    In the more than seventy years since America was dragged screaming, etc., into World War II, may America have changed? I think that it may have done.
    I think that America now picks fights where the America of eighty years ago might have said, “Friend, I have no quarrel with you. Go you your way and I shall go mine.”
    Perhaps Vona should have been emollient, writing — “Representative Crowley, thank you for your concern. Hungary has many problems. We are doing our best to solve them, and we welcome suggestions and advice, including suggestions and advice of the sort that we should not presume to offer to the United States. Please continue to share your thoughts on Hungary with us” — go you your way, and we shall go ours, in effect.
    Some1, taking time away from His family reunion, Jesus has already said, on behalf of Vona:
    Avagy mi módon mondhatod a te atyádfiának: Hadd vessem ki a szálkát a te szemedbõl; holott ímé, a te szemedben gerenda van?
    Even He had his testy moments, it seems.

    Of course the US has changed. Let’s be mindful of Eisenhower’s departing words: “Beware of the Military-Industrial Complex”.
    It’s hardly mentioned today but not because it doesn’t exist or influence (greatly) American foreign policy. But while America may be characterized as a ‘bully’, it’s interesting to note that every time the US thinks of pulling out of Europe (Germany) there’s a great to do against it by Europeans. As for Iraq, I can’t be convinced that the US went to war for the oil. They don’t really need it that much. Mind you, driving up the price of oil is certainly a great cover for American oil/gas hikes, too.

    As for America as the world’s policeman…well, who else? Russia? China? While hot wars and iceberg wars are no longer, there sure is a continuing cold war and it’s been democracy + rule of law versus totalitarian/kleptocratic states that seek to subvert others.

    Hungary, in my opinion, has been one of those subverted (let’s hope not completely) in the last two years.

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    1. @petofi: Please allow me to offer an apology for mis-transcribing your name, and thanks again for your response, which encourages me to hope that we may be largely of the same mind. (I like America better when she is not playing “world’s policeman”. Frustrated members of a police force sometimes, it seems to me, take approaches to “criminals” that too closely approximate the behaviour of the criminals themselves.) I hope with you that any subversion of democracy in Hungary can be, and will be, corrected speedily.

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  24. Really the quality of the English was fine, and I think people are being a bit catty when talking about it.

    The problem with Jobbik is their anti-semitism, anti-Roma bigotry, and their anti-EU, pro-conspiracy theory, pro-Nazi, pro-ridiculous economic policies, pro-revisionist, pro-civil war stances and the fact that they are bunch of unhinged buffoons. The problem is NOT that they don’t get an English proofreader to check their letters. The US congressmen sent their letter in English, which is fine, but they didn’t even bother to translate it into the language of the recipient. We don’t know what the quality of their Hungarian would have been.

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  25. About Béla Varga

    On July 24 there was a furious flurry of letters from b.v. Some of them really horrendous. At this point we discussed that we had had enough of Béla Varga. Using WordPress’s capabilities I put him on the black list.

    Interestingly, after that busy July 24 he disappeared but unfortunately not for long. This morning, most likely inspired by Gábor Vona’s letter, he reappeared. Now with personal insults.

    I just want Béla Varga to know that he will never be able to publish any comment on this list. So, don’t try.

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  26. Dubious :
    Really the quality of the English was fine, and I think people are being a bit catty when talking about it.
    The problem with Jobbik is their anti-semitism, anti-Roma bigotry, and their anti-EU, pro-conspiracy theory, pro-Nazi, pro-ridiculous economic policies, pro-revisionist, pro-civil war stances and the fact that they are bunch of unhinged buffoons. The problem is NOT that they don’t get an English proofreader to check their letters. The US congressmen sent their letter in English, which is fine, but they didn’t even bother to translate it into the language of the recipient. We don’t know what the quality of their Hungarian would have been.

    Hungarian is still not he official language of diplomacy but I am sure Vona and Orban are working on it. We had a large discussion way back about this when Orban took offense of some diplomat sending something to him in English. In Europe for that matter French was the language of diplomacy for centuries, then it was taken over by English. In the EU things are different now, but probably if you want to have a cup of cafe, thank you and please in the buffet, your best bet is to use English, French or German in Strasbourg. I am not sure how far Hungarian would take Vona. When conducting business with the USA (official or not) it is rudimentary to use a language that is common in diplomacy and most people would understand without a translator. Yes, Vona’s letter is a very decent job, but that is all, a great effort. The representative of almost one million people as Vona claims, should know better, should do better. That “We are the mighty Hungarians, and we can do whatever we please”, is just does not work.

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  27. Perhaps it was Paul who was rather forgiving about the English of Vona’s letter. Yes, the grammatical and stylistic errors wouldn’t be a problem in ordinary correspondence. But this is an official letter that Vona made public. Don’t they have anyone in that party who would be able to translate the original Hungarian into decent English? And then I didn’t talk about the contents. By writing letters like that and making it public is doing no good for him and his party. On the contrary.

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  28. Dubious :
    The problem is NOT that they don’t get an English proofreader to check their letters

    I’m pretty sure this WAS the work of their best proofreader. This is not Vona.

    The reactions to letter shows why Joe Simon and Kovach are constantly throwing in examples from the US no matter what are we talking about. It’s just too easy to be smart about the US.

    Back to our very own fascist party. They are about to introduce a bill that will require the documentation of the ethnicity of the prison population. A bill clearly aimed to create proof of the gypsy crime in Hungary. They suggest that this will make the identification of criminals easy. The bill mentions another country (yes, you have guessed it), the US, where cops do the same …

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  29. Back to our very own fascist party. They are about to introduce a bill that will require the documentation of the ethnicity of the prison population. A bill clearly aimed to create proof of the gypsy crime in Hungary. They suggest that this will make the identification of criminals easy. The bill mentions another country (yes, you have guessed it), the US, where cops do the same …

    Hungary s becoming a joke. Here is the recipe to create a renewed Hungary by Orban and Vona.
    1. Take out of context some parts of the legislations of democratic countries, so they become the worst examples to tackle a problem.
    2. Announce that Hungary will need a legislation just like the one that was taken out of context.
    3. Announce that other, actually democratic countries implement the same.
    4. Bang your chest how smart you are.
    5. Start to tell everyone “off”.
    6. When is all cooked up, make sure that Hungary becomes a collection of worst examples, something that some idiots are so proud of because they think they outsmarted everyone around them. A collection of con artists put together a collection of cons.

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  30. Eva S. Balogh :
    Perhaps it was Paul who was rather forgiving about the English of Vona’s letter. Yes, the grammatical and stylistic errors wouldn’t be a problem in ordinary correspondence. But this is an official letter that Vona made public. Don’t they have anyone in that party who would be able to translate the original Hungarian into decent English? And then I didn’t talk about the contents. By writing letters like that and making it public is doing no good for him and his party. On the contrary.

    And this doesn’t bother me a bit ;-)).

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  31. To those worried about the US being the policeman of the world, I suggest the July 27 Weekend Interview from The Wall Street Journal with Charles Hill.

    The introduction to the interview with Robert Pollock :

    Charles Hill: The Empire Strikes Back

    One of American’s foremost strategists says the era of liberal democracy is in jeopardy, and the historical norm of dominance by great powers will return if the U.S. fails to lead.

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    1. @gdfxx: How is the United States’ present role distinct from “dominance by great powers”? If you can post a link to the interview that you cite, I shall be interested in seeing if that point is addressed. Thanks in advance.

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    1. Thank you, Some1. The interviewee’s concept of “empire”, and his distinction of “empires” from “states” is… flexible. I should like to differ with his statement that “World War I is a war of empires which comes to its culmination point when a state gets into it. That’s the United States.” All the warring parties were, however, governmental entities of the sort that a few sentences earlier the interviewee characterised as “states”. My impression is that an “empire”, for purposes of his arguments, is a “state” with policies with which he disagrees — and that an empire, if it puts its hand over its heart and says “Our motives are pure” (the United States, Britain), meets his criteria for a state. Might not the United States’ actions in World War I be seen as an acknowledgement that, after subjugating Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines, the United States were, de facto, an empire? Whilst it’s comfortable for those who wish the United States well to imagine that nation as benevolent, the United States, like all states, have “no friends, only interests”. And I expect that those who lead the United States, like those who lead all states, favour interests over principles. For me it’s easier to see the United States as part and parcel of the “historical norm of dominance by great powers” than as an exception…even if President Apricot has been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.

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  32. Dear Eva,
    I would like to bring it to the attention of Bela Varga, Luis Kovacs, and their simikar thinking friends as well as t the great contributors of this blog the fantastic letter written to President of Hungarym Janos Ader on the occasion that he denied that many Hungarians were active participants in the Holocaust. The letter was published in 168ora, and was wriitten by Dr. Tibor Frank from Torontro.
    I apologize to our English speaking readers as the letter is in Hungarian, but it is so lengthy, so factual and so well written that I would not even attempt to translate. (Paul, maybe you could ask your wife to translate it as she reads it, while your in-laws are close by.)
    http://www.168ora.hu/itthon/level-ader-janos-izrael-zsidok-99929.html

    So, who is Tibor Frank?
    “Tibor Frank is Professor of History at the Department of American Studies and Director of the School of English and American Studies (1994-2001, 2006-)., as well as head of the Ph.D. Program in American Studies (2000-), at Eötvös Loránd University.
    Tibor Frank was educated as a historian at Eötvös Loránd University, and in Cambridge, England (Christ’s College 1969, Darwin College 1980-81). He has been teaching at Eötvös University since graduating in 1971 with an M.A. in History and English, obtaining his Dr. Univ. in Modern History (1973). He received his Ph.D. in History at the Hungarian Academy of Letters and Science (1979), his Habilitation in History at Eötvös University in 1996, and his D.Litt. at the Hungarian Academy of Letters and Science in 1998.

    He lectured in over 40 U.S., Canadian, British and European universities and contributed to over 80 conferences in both Europe and the United States. His books (see below) and some 160 articles and chapters were published in Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the United States.”
    This is just the beginning of his qualifications, and you can read the rest in English also, here: http://das.elte.hu/content/faculty/frank/cv.html

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  33. Wondercat :
    I expect that those who lead the United States, like those who lead all states, favour interests over principles. For me it’s easier to see the United States as part and parcel of the “historical norm of dominance by great powers” than as an exception…

    One certainly very simplified approach would be saying that when the US was putting it’s interest over principles and got engaged in wars the “side effect” was most of the time countries freed from tyranny or prospective tyranny. One lucky empire. I know. The Taliban disagree …

    Apropos Apricot. Vona made a huge mistake with that racist comment on the American president. He managed to top Berlusconi who said “He’s a nice man and has a nice tan too”.

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  34. OT Re B.V it is a pity you had to discumnockertate that little ‘bilge rat’.
    Last evening I was meditating over some beer and I remembered a few ‘choice’ phrases form 59 years ago in ‘Dockyard Cantonese’ (or was it Arabic or Malay) which I sort of translated into English (suitably bowdlerised). They do not have the same power or implication contained in the originals.
    So we have seen the last of that ‘son of a thousand’ (fathers but no one knew which one it was who gave rise to him).
    ‘Good perhaps we have ‘rattled that ‘Son of the Howling’ (a jackal).
    Back to Vona
    I have just found this http://www.politics.hu/20120801/where-exactly-is-this-whole-hungarian-patriotism-camp-thing-going/ which breaks more of the treaty of Paris 1947 Part 3 (Military and Air Clauses) Article 14 and Annex II.
    I do wish some one would remind the good congressmen of this treaty

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  35. Petofi deserves lots of compliments.

    Too many nice Liberal minds are today muddied by the propaganda of Chomsky, Steve Walt etc.
    I asked my friends to appreciate the greatness of America, instead of whining about our “imperialism” by order of old Hruscsov..

    I read the WSJ article of Charles Hill.
    Quote:
    “To some, the Obama’s administration’s desire to “lead from behind” and seek United Nations approval for actions abroad represents an appropriate retreat to a more humble American posture. Mr. Hill, by contrast, sees the possible end of a great era of human rights and democracy promotion the likes of which the planet has never seen. ”

    Obama is doing well to ruin the hope of the planet. The Vonas will rule, if Obama continues on this path. Carter was much better.

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  36. Y’all are missing the major problem with Vona’s letter. It was written to a US Congressman, and with the 49 others who signed the letter. A bunch of these legislators are based in New York, and all of those have probably spoke with Charles Barron.

    The problem with the letter is not the English usage, but phrases like this: “just because Israel commands you.” None of these Congressmen would consider that they are being commanded to do anything by a foreign country. This would rub any legislator anywhere the wrong way.

    Also, the US has some pretty good reasons to hate Iran (as Iran has some pretty good reasons to hate the US, namely the Shah). Remember how Iranians, including Ahmadinejad, kidnapped and held hostage diplomats? This letter is wildly oblivious of US-Iran history.

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  37. ideges-lettem :
    Petofi deserves lots of compliments.
    Too many nice Liberal minds are today muddied by the propaganda of Chomsky, Steve Walt etc.
    I asked my friends to appreciate the greatness of America, instead of whining about our “imperialism” by order of old Hruscsov..
    I read the WSJ article of Charles Hill.
    Quote:
    “To some, the Obama’s administration’s desire to “lead from behind” and seek United Nations approval for actions abroad represents an appropriate retreat to a more humble American posture. Mr. Hill, by contrast, sees the possible end of a great era of human rights and democracy promotion the likes of which the planet has never seen. ”
    Obama is doing well to ruin the hope of the planet. The Vonas will rule, if Obama continues on this path. Carter was much better.

    What a heck is this have to do with Hungary? Are you on the wring blog? If you wish to engage in a full blown analysis on the United States versus about the idiotic and embarrassing defense of Vona, I am sure there are plenty of blogs available for your disposal.

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  38. London Calling!

    Respect Beauty: You obviously didn’t read my contribution – (It Happens!)

    This is not the blog to discuss the USA’s history so I kept my pithy comments, pithy!

    I don’t like the tone of the USA-bashing on here either – Someone said that the USA always does the correct thing – as a last resort. But at least they do it.

    So many countries have been the beneficiaries of American largesse – and they are an easy target for misinterpretation of their motives.

    The USA is a benign peaceful nation – Imagine if it was led by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or some other theocratic ‘leader’?

    Too awful to imagine.

    Regards

    Charlie

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  39. Funny thing is (I’m not sure ‘funny’ is entirely appropriate), had U.S. Congressmen sent France or the Netherlands a similar letter about the rise of islamophobia in those countries, their far right party leaders would have written the same answer with only minor changes. Of course, the Israel/Iraq themes would have to be replaced by the ties with Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the support for islamists movements during the Arab Spring etc. And the Syrian regime would have replaced the Iranian regime.

    The sophism in Vona’s answer is simple: answering in terms of foreign policy to criticisms over national policy. Why does he do that? Because the ‘enemy within’ is the only ideology of european far-right movements. For the French Front National, since its change of generation the ‘enemy within’ is now the Muslim; for Jobbik it’s the Jew (and the Roma, but they are not good clients when it comes to world conspiracy theories).

    Different targets, same core business, same sales methods. Our continent isn’t doing well.

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  40. Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10) :
    Funny thing is (I’m not sure ‘funny’ is entirely appropriate), had U.S. Congressmen sent France or the Netherlands a similar letter about the rise of islamophobia in those countries, their far right party leaders would have written the same answer with only minor changes. Of course, the Israel/Iraq themes would have to be replaced by the ties with Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the support for islamists movements during the Arab Spring etc. And the Syrian regime would have replaced the Iranian regime.
    The sophism in Vona’s answer is simple: answering in terms of foreign policy to criticisms over national policy. Why does he do that? Because the ‘enemy within’ is the only ideology of european far-right movements. For the French Front National, since its change of generation the ‘enemy within’ is now the Muslim; for Jobbik it’s the Jew (and the Roma, but they are not good clients when it comes to world conspiracy theories).
    Different targets, same core business, same sales methods. Our continent isn’t doing well.

    THis is NOT a blog to discuss USA affairs. As it has been pointed out many times, if you wish to discuss USA policies you have to find the right forum for that. and this is not one of them. What the issue is here that someone, anyone, whoever, God, the devil, the good or the bad pointed out the poor ways the Hungarian government handles equality issues, and allows different treatment to different Hungarian citizens based on their religion, ethnicity, origin or sexual preferences, not based on their work ethics or their contribution to the country’s well being. Now, (for those who for similar daycare type of thinking Vona and Orban posses, cannot think outside the box), visualize Hungary on the middle of the ocean, with no other countries left on planet Earth, and the message that they do not treat their people equally arrived on a space ship.
    1. Does Hungary treat everyone right an equal?
    2. Is the message valid or not?
    3. THere is nobody to send back a letter to, as the space ship disappeared.

    So before you put on your next comment , keep in mind what the point is. Vona of course throwing up little letters to the sky and that is OK, he is not really smart, but what about the content. What he says about Hungary is true? Is he telling the truth? Is his party actually Mercy of God? I hope this help to those who have a little trouble focusing.

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  41. I’m reading a Hungarian translation of Vona’s letter. Originally it was posted on Vona’s Facebook page.

    I have the terrible feeling that this letter will boost his popularity in Hungary. It will come across as he stuck it up good to the Americans. This letter may have been written to Hungarians not the congressmen. The most obvious trick is the “the Hungarian people are not racist” part.

    Mad world. It’s like Hitler would be defending the Germans in 1940 by telling everybody they are not nazis.

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  42. @nyaripal@ Interesting to read on a Website concerned with Hungary statements about Israel (apartheid and so on). I hope we are not going to discuss here the problems of the Middle East or the USA.
    However Jobbik is a racist and anti-Semitic party. Therefore as far as anti-Semitism is concerned, I suggest to use the EUMC working definition of anti-Semitism.

    WORKING DEFINITION OF ANTISEMITISM
    The purpose of this document is to provide a practical guide for identifying incidents, collecting data, and supporting the implementation and enforcement of legislation dealing with antisemitism.
    Working definition: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
    In addition, such manifestations could also target the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.
    Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:
    • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
    • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
    • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
    • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
    • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
    • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
    Examples of the ways in which antisemitism manifests itself with regard to the State of Israel taking into account the overall context could include:
    • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
    • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
    • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
    • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
    • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
    However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.
    Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries).
    Criminal acts are antisemitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews.
    Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries.
    http://www.european-forum-on-antisemitism.org/working-definition-of-antisemitism/english/?fontsize=0

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    1. @Karl Pfeifer: The definition is interesting. In only one respect do I question it: “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.” Why is that anti-Semitic? A particular Jewish citizen of the United Sates surely may warrant accusation in the terms set out. In the United States, for example, we have Jonathan Pollard; to wonder if his behaviour is only the tip of the iceberg (or, in the classic joke, of the Goldberg) seems understandable.

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  43. Wondercat :
    @Karl Pfeifer: The definition is interesting. In only one respect do I question it: “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.” Why is that anti-Semitic? A particular Jewish citizen of the United Sates surely may warrant accusation in the terms set out. In the United States, for example, we have Jonathan Pollard.

    I didn’t think the difference had to be spelled out but here is an example. This is like accusing people of killing young girls for their blood and mix it into the matzo for Passover because they are Jewish or actually convicting Jewish murderers for killing young girls.

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  44. Odin : “as well as other organisations conducting propaganda, including revisionist propaganda, hostile to the United Nations, shall not permit in future the existence and activities of organisations of that nature which have as their aim denial to the people of their democratic rights.”

    On this basis, the old MKP, and its successors were also “illegal”

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  45. Wondercat, I cannot say whether this is the reason why such thinking could be considered anti-semitic but with some mixture of identities or backgrounds, it is very difficult to give a “correct” answer to the question of “national loyalty” – a “correct” answer expected by people with only one background and who therefore will answer very easily. There is no question that you are Hungarian, American, or whatever if there is no other background that might potentially mean an additional “loyalty” or a bias. This wish to be loyal to just one country follows the logic of “Great Power politics”. It not only expects people to be able to choose – no, they also must choose. Otherwise, they are kind of a “fifth column”. People with more than one background may find that an insufficient comprehension of the situation of people who cannot fulfil the expectation (and do not even see any necessity to do so) of a single and clear “affiliation”.

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  46. Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10) :
    @Some1: is my English even worse than Vona’s, or do you need better contact lenses? I’ll let you slowly read again my comment, and choose for yourself.

    My bad. Yes, I need your contact lenses. I apologize. THe truth is that I started to read your original response, and I got to the ” had U.S. Congressmen sent France or the Netherlands a similar letter ” and I sort of rolled my eyes thinking, here comes an other on American foreign policy. I should of read the whole post. I still fell my reply is very valid, but not to your response.

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  47. Wondercat :
    @Karl Pfeifer: The definition is interesting. In only one respect do I question it: “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.” Why is that anti-Semitic? A particular Jewish citizen of the United Sates surely may warrant accusation in the terms set out. In the United States, for example, we have Jonathan Pollard; to wonder if his behaviour is only the tip of the iceberg (or, in the classic joke, of the Goldberg) seems understandable.

    It is not understandable at all. Do you think that all Americans of Hungarian origin are spies for Hungary? Or that all Americans of Russian origin are spies for Russia? Or if a spy ofr any other country is caught, that could be the tip of the iceberg?

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  48. @gdfxx / Kirsten / The Muttster: Thank you all. The definition cited by Karl Pfeifer seems flawed to me because it does not include the important modifier of “as a class”. It stands now “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.” If it stood “Accusing Jewish citizens, as a class, of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations” it would, to me, be unexceptionable.

    Important to recognise, I believe, that as claims against Jewry do not necessarily attaint the individual Jew, neither do claims against the individual Jew, the Jonathan Pollard, necessarily attaint Jewry. (And that some claims against individual or against class really ARE preposterous — I wouldn’t have bothered to guaiac-test matzoth from the Tiszaeszlári bakery, for example. Well, maybe I would have done, just to say — with evidence — “Vér nincs!”)

    The questions are posed: “Do you think that all Americans of Hungarian origin are spies for Hungary? Or that all Americans of Russian origin are spies for Russia? Or if a spy of any other country is caught, that could be the tip of the iceberg?” Writing for myself: I do not; I do not; and…I do (because the verb in the question has not “are” but “could be”). If I were in charge of loyalty screening programmes at the Central Intelligence Agency, I should, I believe, fall very short of my duty if I did not think that all Americans of X origin — not “are”, but “might be” — spies for X, particularly in the case of Americans with access to “sensitive” information.

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  49. The EUMC working definition of anti-Semitism is very useful for policemen and judges in several countries.
    As far as Hungary is concerned it would be useful too, however some liberals thought Nazis must be free to voice their ideas and so Hungary is flooded since many years by hatemongering antisemitic incitement.
    Today Népszabadság published an excellent report on the town ruled until now by Jobbik. A typical Hungarian anti-Semite is telling the reporter that he believes Hungary is ruled by Jews and that Vona is also a Jew.
    Such crazy ideas are not restricted to a few unbalanced people. One can find in the postings on Fidesz near Magyar Hirlap antisemitic incitement.
    Thanks to those liberals who thought that Hungarian society will reject such ideas and advocated free speech for Nazis such discourse is tolerated in Hungary. (1996 Népszabadság published a brochure of all the articles pro and contra liberty for nazi speech)

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  50. Mutt Damon :

    Wondercat :
    @Karl Pfeifer: The definition is interesting. In only one respect do I question it: “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.” Why is that anti-Semitic? A particular Jewish citizen of the United Sates surely may warrant accusation in the terms set out. In the United States, for example, we have Jonathan Pollard.

    I didn’t think the difference had to be spelled out but here is an example. This is like accusing people of killing young girls for their blood and mix it into the matzo for Passover because they are Jewish or actually convicting Jewish murderers for killing young girls.

    Actually, I do remember my great-grandfather telling me that
    the matzah hadn’t tasted the same for a long time…

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  51. Wondercat :
    @gdfxx / Kirsten / The Muttster: Thank you all. The definition cited by Karl Pfeifer seems flawed to me because it does not include the important modifier of “as a class”

    OK. It’s 4th of July. US flags are are everywhere. Redneck and his Jewish neighbor walk out of the house at the same time in the morning. Then the redneck goes:

    1. Hey, Yitzak. What’s the flag for? You people are helping Israel more then the Americans.
    – or –
    2. Hey, Yitzak. What’s the flag for? You people, as a class, are helping Israel more then the Americans.

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    1. @Mutt Damon: Not a pertinent question; “you people” is a collective noun; the error of conflating Yitzak with Jewry exists in each alternative that you propose.

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  52. Wondercat :
    @Mutt Damon: Not a pertinent question; “you people” is a collective noun; the error of conflating Yitzak with Jewry exists in each alternative that you propose.

    Dang. Take the word “people” out of the first sentence.

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    1. @Mutt Damon: NOW wew’re talkin’. If Izzy has his wits about him (and don’t those wily Jews always!), when Bubba offers the “you people” alternative, he can and should respond — “Other Jews, maybe, but not me. I’m a good American and I fly the flag.” When Bubba offers the “you” alternative, Izzy can and should respond — “Well, I have to disagree with that. I think of myself as a good American and I fly the flag to show that I’m an American first and foremost. What makes you say different?” And either way Bubba slinks off to console himself with a double order of waffle fries at Chick-Fil-A. With hate sauce.

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  53. Vona’s point about war crimes and hypocrisies on the part of U.S. imperialism and Israel is unarguable, but also beside the point. In this sense the letter from Washington was an opportunity handed to Jobbik on a silver platter to appeal to its putrid base. Commenters are right to point out that the poor English of Vona’s response will hardly bother his target audience of racists and antisemites. Of course Jobbik couldn’t care less about the Muslim and Palestinian victims of U.S./Israeli massacres, torture, drone strikes, and renditions, except as a useful rhetorical device. The empowering of small-time racist thugs around the world is in part another unintended consequence of the big-time Thuggery of Washington’s phoney ‘war on terror.’

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  54. Lumpy :
    Vona’s point about war crimes and hypocrisies on the part of U.S. imperialism and Israel is unarguable….
    Of course Jobbik couldn’t care less about the Muslim and Palestinian victims of U.S./Israeli massacres, torture, drone strikes, and renditions. The empowering of small-time racist thugs around the world is in part another unintended consequence of the big-time Thuggery of Washington’s phoney ‘war on terror.’

    Good try. Read the comments above, and post your stupid, patronizing well packaged attack on US and Israel policies on blogs where they belong. THis blog is for the Hungarian issues and not to discuss if you agree with the USA foreign policies regarding other counties.

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  55. Ok ok S1 I agree attempting to walk and chew gum at the same time is too ambitious… Please don’t waterboard me!

    Imagine thinking that what is going on in Hungary might also be symptomatic of bigger things going on in the world in the twilight of the Empire. You’ve certainly shown me the error of my ways! Hungary’s problems can only be understood in strict isolation. 😉

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  56. Lumpy :
    Ok ok S1 I agree attempting to walk and chew gum at the same time is too ambitious… Please don’t waterboard me!
    Imagine thinking that what is going on in Hungary might also be symptomatic of bigger things going on in the world in the twilight of the Empire. You’ve certainly shown me the error of my ways! Hungary’s problems can only be understood in strict isolation.

    That is not the case. The problem with Hungary is that the people who are running it always compare Hungary to the worst examples. Dragging out the worst in every single country’s modus operandi, and saying that well Hungary is doing better then them, or just doing as they do, is not the way to go. Why don’t we drag out the best examples and see how can Hungary measures up would be actually the way to go. Trying to match the good would lead to progress. It is not that I want to see Hungary in a vacuum, but I want to see Hungary aim higher, and not to follow the “it is good enough” attitude. Good enough is not good enough, and worst is even worst. The Hungarian thinking now is that the small thief who got caught by lifting an orange should not tell the serial rapist and killer that it is wrong to do that.

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  57. @Lumpy@ Nobody claimed what you say.
    I do not believe the desecration of the Jewish cemetery in Kaposvár has to do with alleged crimes of the USA and/or Israel. The same goes for anti-Semitic texts on Magyar Hirlap.
    To claim an Israeli massacre at a time when even according to very conservative estimates more than 16.000 Syrians lost their life during the last 15 months is not very clever. What you say has nothing to do with Middle East reality and everything with Hungary.
    So let us discuss who is responsible for an upsurge of anti-Semitism and racism in Hungary.

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  58. .

    Karl Pfeifer :
    @Lumpy@ Nobody claimed what you say.
    I do not believe the desecration of the Jewish cemetery in Kaposvár has to do with alleged crimes of the USA and/or Israel. The same goes for anti-Semitic texts on Magyar Hirlap
    So let us discuss who is responsible for an upsurge of anti-Semitism and racism in Hungary.

    Hungary’s ruling class has a long history whipping up racist paranoia in the more backward layers of its population… The same is happening in most parts of the world, as a means of diverting attention from economic hardships, while bullying working people into passive acceptance of austerity measures to pay for capitalism’s economic crisis. No mystery to it really.
    I think much responsibility in Hungary lies with the liberal ‘left’ which looks to the EU to win its battles for it. To put the best light on it, instead of seeking to educate and mobilize the working class against anti-Roma racism and antisemitism, the social democrats have vacated this terrain for Brussels to ‘fix’ with stupid bureaucratic ‘anti racism’ statutes, playing directly into the hands of Orban and the far right with their propaganda re the “international Jewish bankers conspiracy against the Nation”..
    This has created a very bad political polarization, much to the disadvantage of the left and its traditional constituencies, which only seems destined to get worse.

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  59. Lumpy :
    Hungary’s ruling class has a long history whipping up racist paranoia in the more backward layers of its population… The same is happening in most parts of the world, as a means of diverting attention from economic hardships, while bullying working people into passive acceptance of austerity measures to pay for capitalism’s economic crisis. No mystery to it really.
    I think much responsibility in Hungary lies with the liberal ‘left’ which looks to the EU to win its battles for it. To put the best light on it, instead of seeking to educate and mobilize the working class against anti-Roma racism and antisemitism, the social democrats have vacated this terrain for Brussels to ‘fix’ with stupid bureaucratic ‘anti racism’ statutes, playing directly into the hands of Orban and the far right with their propaganda re the “international Jewish bankers conspiracy against the Nation”..

    Whiskey tango foxtrot? The Hungarian liberal left (who is that, by the way) should mobilize the working class against racism, so they will not passively accept austerity measures to pay for capitalism’s economic crisis? Ladies and Gents! Circus Planet Hungary is in session!

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  60. Lumpy, Good God, what old brochures did you read? I took you for a rightwing antisemite. No, you are a leftwing antisemite who repeats the old soviet anti-Semitic slogans about Israeli massacres etc.

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