The true colors of Fidesz became obvious this weekend

I’m afraid I’m returning with disappointing news about the Hungarian opposition’s feeble efforts to forge a united front against Fidesz. If this attitude continues, Fidesz’s victory is guaranteed come the spring of 2014. Vera Lánczos, a member of the Galamus group, rightly entitled her essay on the anti-racist demonstration organized by DK  “The final grade is F.”

However, there is at least something that is crystal clear now: the leadership of Fidesz no longer even tries to hide its racism and anti-Semitism. And that’s good in a way because perhaps the true nature of Fidesz will be more discernible to politicians of democratic countries.

I wrote two articles on the subject of a New Year’s Eve brawl in Szigethalom. In the first one I summarized Attila Ara-Kovács’s excellent article entitled “Roma strategy, from Balog to Bayer.” Hungary’s contribution to the European Union was the so-called Roma strategy. Hungary was supposed to be the torch bearer, but not much has been accomplished since the summer of 2011 when the details of the plan were released. The second article dealt with the very close connection between the government and Zsolt Bayer, the author of a despicable article on “a significant portion” of the Gypsy population who are not fit to live and should somehow be eliminated.

At the end of the second post I indicated that within twenty-four hours the Fidesz strategy for handling the case took a 180° turn. Instead of apologizing and promising to be more vigilant, the editor-in-chief and owner of Magyar Hírlap revised his stance and defended the views of Bayer; he asked the paper’s readers to stand by Bayer, Magyar Hírlap, and their government.

While this was going on, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) fined the Magyar Labdarúgó Szövetség (MLSZ) 35,000 Swiss francs as a result of what happened at the Hungarian-Israeli football game in August 2012. In addition, the Hungarian national team that is scheduled to play against Romania will have to play in an empty stadium in March. MLSZ is appealing the ruling. In addition, MLSZ claims that they learned about the decision only from the website of FIFA, while FIFA claims that they sent the information to Budapest in December 2012.

MLSZ considers the punishment unfair. I assume Viktor Orbán must think the same because, when asked what he thought of the ruling, he announced that it is much better if he says nothing. Right-wing papers call the ruling “madness” and naturally blame “certain Jewish organizations” for the severity of the punishment. Another article that appeared in Magyar Hírlap claimed that the ruling has nothing to do with football. It is a political attack against Hungary. In the past anti-Hungarian slogans weren’t punished by FIFA. Moreover, if it were any other country but Israel FIFA wouldn’t have done a thing. In any case,  the Israelis shouldn’t have been allowed into the European League because it was predictable that such incidents would occur time and again.

The rumor is already spreading in right-wing circles in Hungary that the whole incident was a planned provocation. The “fans” who were waving Iranian and Palestinian flags and who turned their backs on the Israeli anthem while yelling at their top of the lungs were “paid extras” hired by Hungary’s enemies, who are traitors.

But, let’s go back to the brawl on New Year’s Eve and Zsolt Bayer and what that has to do with the anti-Semitic behavior on the football field. As it turns out a great deal, because it seems that Fidesz politicians in their effort to defend Zsolt Bayer went a little too far and revealed that they not only agree with Bayer on the Gypsy issue but that they also share Bayer’s anti-Semitism. Or at least they are ready to use anti-Semitic slogans against their political opponents.

How did Viktor Orbán’s party end up in this unenviable position that most likely will result in Fidesz’s being dubbed an openly anti-Semitic party? A young Fidesz politician who was earlier a member of MIÉP became the spokesman of the party on the issue of Roma crime and the Bayer affair. When it became known that DK was organizing a demonstration demanding the expulsion of Bayer from Fidesz, Máté Kocsis, the young Fidesz member of parliament and mayor of District VIII known for his harsh views on the homeless, announced that while  Fidesz understands Bayer’s passion Fidesz politicians object to his style. I guess that means that if Bayer said what he said more politely it would have been all right. In Fidesz’s opinion, as translated by Kocsis, the relationship between Fidesz and Bayer is not really the issue. What is important is that a crime was committed. And, Kocsis added, if the opposition organizes a demonstration against “the reaction to a crime and not the crime itself, they unwittingly stand on the side of criminals and murderers.”

Selmeczi Gabriella, the official spokesman of Fidesz, also had a few harsh things to say about the demonstration. The left encourages criminals because, according to the opposition politicians, the guilty party is not the man who kills but the one who is aroused by the crime. She added that “Hungary had enough of the hate campaign of Ron Werber.”

Well, with Ron Werber we arrive at the link between Fidesz’s racism and its anti-Semitism. Ron Werber is an Israeli who was a political adviser to MSZP in the early years of the new century. Ron Werber became famous in the “campaign business” as Israeli Prime Minister Yitshak Rabin’s campaign manager in 1992. Ten years later the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) contracted Werber and won – reversing an originally losing position. After Werber left, MSZP hired American advisers Tal Silberstein and Jeremy Rosner, whom László Kövér referred to as “Rózenkranc és Szilverstein.” So, whether the advisers come from Israel or the United States Fidesz’s emphasis was on their Jewishness, says Zsófia Miháncsik in today’s Galamus.

And this is the sign that awaited the few hundred demonstrators yesterday afternoon in front of Fidesz’s party headquarters: “Don’t take the side of the murderers, don’t listen to Ron Werber!”

DK demonstration, Fidesz sign

So, the opposition takes the side of murderers and MSZP gets its cues from Israel or from American Jews. I think this is pretty clear.

While Fidesz was playing on the anti-Semitic sentiments of a sizable portion of Hungarian society the minister of defense, Csaba Hende, was giving a speech in the Holocaust Center in Budapest. He emphasized that “one must fight against hate and discrimination.” He even admitted that the Hungarian state didn’t defend its citizens in 1944 and 1945. The usual double-talk, but unfortunately Hende seems to be a welcome guest at the U.S. Embassy in Budapest.

As for the demonstration. After DK announced that it would hold a demonstration in front of Fidesz headquarters, both MSZP and Gordon Bajnai of E14 immediately announced their decision to join it. In the end, however, the leading lights of  MSZP and E14 weren’t present. It was only Solidarity that brought along its activists. The explanations given Sunday night on ATV by András Schiffer, Tibor Szanyi, and Gordon Bajnai were pitiful. I expected nothing from Schiffer, but I’m deeply disappointed in Bajnai. I’m afraid that Péter Juhász’s phantom organization, Milla, is holding him hostage. But I predict that this strategy will backfire. People want unity and hate party squabbles. They have a very bad opinion of parties already, and if they see disunity and petty quarrels they will hate them even more. That doesn’t bode well for active participation in the next elections.

83 comments

  1. “Do not stand on the side of murderers!” the sign reads. I wonder if Fidesz meant that people should not stand on the side of Fidesz/Orban, as they were the ones who let out the axe murderer from jail, for what exactly?
    I think it is time for a few countries to consider some diplomatic steps in order to protest the Hungarian government’s openly racist stance.
    I also thin that Jewish organizations should stop their “cooperation” and distance themselves from Janos Lazar’s charade for the Jewish memories.

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  2. “That doesn’t bode well for active participation in the next elections.”

    I hate to admit it, but in my mind, the elections 2014 won’t change the present situation at all. And you confirm my suspicion that the opposition parties will lose the historical chance to unite before Hungary becomes another Belarus.

    It’s so sad. The people I know – and their kids – are leaving the country in droves

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  3. Some1 :
    “Do not stand on the side of murderers!” the sign reads. I wonder if Fidesz meant that people should not stand on the side of Fidesz/Orban, as they were the ones who let out the axe murderer from jail, for what exactly?

    Well, that’s the thing. It’s always VERY VERY easy to find terribly obvious flaws in Fidesz’s PR. Flaws which one could use against them. From this banner, to the Soviet-style ‘Friends of Hungary’ website, to the poster of Bajnai & Gyurcsany which said ‘Together they destroyed the country’.

    Yes, some people thought that poster was clever, because it made use of the word ‘Egyutt’. But no, it wasn’t particularly clever, because potentially, it’s extremely easy to satirise and turn against Fidesz with exactly the same message. Take your pick: Orban & Schmitt – together they destroyed the country; Orban & Matolcsy; Orban & Hoffmann; Orban & Horthy, etc. etc.

    But, of course, Hungary doesn’t seem to have a thriving opposition or an independent media to challenge whatever drivel comes out of Fidesz’s PR machine. And the Magyar Hirlap readers just suck it all up.

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  4. After Werber left, MSZP hired American advisers Tal Silberstein and Jeremy Rosner, whom László Kövér referred to as “Rózenkranc és Szilverstein.” So, whether the advisers come from Israel or the United States Fidesz’s emphasis was on their Jewishness, says Zsófia Miháncsik

    When I read her piece on Galamus, I thought that was a rather far-fetched and unsubstantiated assumption. Kövér’s words were just a – rather dreadful – pun on the advisors’ names, alluding to the Shakespearean characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern appearing in Hamlet, and also immortailsed by W. S. Gilbert and Tom Stoppard. These are not Jewish names, they are a couple of Danish noble families. I believe that Kövér found the names of the advisors amusingly similar to these historical/literary names and simply couldn’t resist the temptation to crack a joke.

    As far as Ron Werber goes, his name is essentially synonymous with hate-mongering in Hungary, and there’s a reason for that. The 2002 campaign may have been successful, but it was also extremely polarising and full of ugly, FUD-spreading propaganda. It was the most dreadful of all election campaigns, with many a family breaking up, friends becoming foes and so on. Ron Werber wasn’t the only person – and MSZP wasn’t the only party – responsible for this, but his contribution is undeniable. Two years later he returned to advise the socialists on their EP campaign. The liberal portal index.hu sent a reporter to a campaign briefing and reported that Werber had talked about waging a “war” and “assaulting the people” (much like Orbán does today – guess Werber never thought he would be his best disciple in Hungary!). Lately, it become known that Werber is back again so it’s no wonder Fidesz keeps telling its fans and the undecided masses that they should expect the same old war- and hate-mongering from the Left. That Werber is an Israeli citizen may not have anything to do with this – it’s his notoriety Fidesz is trying to exploit now.

    Of course, equating those who speak up against – perceived or real – racism with those who “support murderers” is unacceptable – but talking about anti-semitism in the context of this “trolling” slogan is way too far-fetched.

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  5. Eva: While this was going on, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) fined the Magyar Labdarúgó Szövetség (MLSZ) 35,000 Swiss francs as a result of what happened at the Hungarian-Israeli football game in August 2012. In addition, the Hungarian national team that is scheduled to play against Romania will have to play in an empty stadium in March. MLSZ is appealing the ruling. In addition, MLSZ claims that they learned about the decision only from the website of FIFA, while FIFA claims that they sent the information to Budapest in December 2012.

    According to the Fifa the penalty is CHF 40,000. The CHF 35,000 was for Bulgaria. The hearing was on November 20. The parties were informed about the decision on January 8.
    See http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/organisation/news/newsid=1982124/ for the press release.

    Interesting the Fifa stated that according to their law, MLZS, is responsible for home games. So clearly MLZS is in the wrong.

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  6. There is a misunderstanding here. Racism and anti-semitism are not hot political issues with which a politician can talk to a lot of people and win a lot of votes. Most people are fed up with these problems. They acknowldge the problem (those who do), but most of them think that politicans should deal with more pressing issues.

    They (the majority of voters not being Roma or Jewish) cannot really feel the problem, even if they have a certain emphatic ability. So these issues remain toys for intellectuals, which is just what Fidesz wants. In the meantime, at least nobody talks about taxes, health care, education, investments, protection of property rights, currency rates, you name it — which would matter to the majority and could potentially influence undecided voters.

    Although the consequences of the recent Bayer article were probably unintended, I am sure that now Fidesz realizes that it can induce a bit of a mini-tempest which can draw the attention of liberals from the main daily problems.

    Note also: those who care about anti-semitism and roma issues would not vote for Fidesz anyway, so Fidesz has no political interest to cater to those people (they need to be more accomodating and sometimes play the liberal like Rogán or Navracsics, almost exclusively for international audience).No voter ever decided solely on these issues, those who would do are decided from the beggining (ie. against Fidesz).

    So I would not draw any political consequences from this demonstration.

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  7. London Calling!

    Welcome back Eva! We missed your posts.

    So if it is a mistake to allow Israel into the European League – then surely it’s a mistake to allow all those black players in too?

    And the concomitant ante-Semitism and Racism is their fault!

    (I’m no expert on football – so will await Paul’s expertise – and opportunity to have another pop at Israel!)

    The main thrust of you piece is that there is little ‘apparent’ unity in the opposition parties.

    I think you know from many of us naysayers, by now, that all the opposition parties have to be uniquely and COMPLETELY united to a (wo)man to have even the slimmest chance of beating Orban.

    LMP started the rot.

    It is deeply depressing that they don’t realise that they have to BE united an BE SEEN to be united to get anywhere.

    Sad.

    *************************************************

    Can I just add – (and it may be just me!) – that although I faithfully read your recent contributor’s two pieces, I’m afraid, I got little from them. I have often self-flagellated myself for stating things from the book of the bleedin’ obvious – but I felt that that was what we got a lot of.

    Any analysis, as already been pointed out, was based on very old data – and I was searching in vain for ‘killer facts’ – like in your pieces – that illuminate the subject further.

    If this is an example of an academic paper, it was very thin on keeping-the-topic alive narrative!

    From my subjective remarks – I rate it an ‘F’! I hope I have not been unfair – “It is well to be forthright – it is better to be fair”

    Eva – I hope you don’t mind my honest feedback – your contributors in the past have always been good decisions!

    But I’m glad your posts are back.

    **********************************************************

    Lastly!

    The students seem to have roared in like a lion – and gone out like a lamb.

    Did Orban really placate them that effectively?

    Regards

    Charlie

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  8. What if the banner was not meant for the demonstrators. What if it was for the Fidesz sympathizers, the undecidedand the Fidesz refugees. The Fidesz is already shaking in it’s boots and trying to prep their own for the upcoming “assaults”. “Did you know he is Jewish?” Came on Tyrker! This is clearly meant to be an anti-Semitic message. So is Kover’s “joke”. Try asking the average Joes in Hungary about Rózenkranc és Szilverstein! Good luck! Anti-semitism is rampant among the Fidesz believers. How many more innocent remarks do you want to prove how anti-Semitic the Fidesz is?

    Regarding hate mongering. First of all it’s not “hate mongering” – it’s “negative campaign” and there’s nothing wrong with it. The Fidesz leaves no choice for the opposing team. As they say “Violence works. At least worked during the Second World war”. Let’s not underestimate the dumbness and laziness of the average Hungarian voter. The Fidesz doesn’t. Orban’s whole kingdom is built on stupidity.

    They have to be treated the same way as they treated the MSZP since 2006. “How is it feel when it’s your mother?” as the dirty joke goes.

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  9. Tyrker :

    Of course, equating those who speak up against – perceived or real – racism with those who “support murderers” is unacceptable – but talking about anti-semitism in the context of this “trolling” slogan is way too far-fetched.

    – And just why would it be “too far-fetched” as you see it?

    Would you mind to name one other option, just what the name of Ron Werber has to do with a DK organized a demonstration for the Roma right there and then, other than heating up and diverting racial sentiments against the Roma and the Jewish too, at the same time..?

    The other part of that lovely sentence declares point blank, that ‘all the Roma ARE murderers’ – since supporting them IS ‘supporting murderers’ as we learned…

    If I remember well Edmund Burke said somewhere:
    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

    As I see it, attempting to confuse and discourage ‘good men’ who actually want to do something is on the Fidesz’s agenda, just to ensure that triumph at any price, and that’s what we are witnessing right now.

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  10. @Pektin #6 I think you are wrong when you say “Racism and anti-semitism are not hot political issues with which a politician can talk to a lot of people and win a lot of votes. Most people are fed up with these problems. They acknowldge the problem” THe truth is that blaming new taxes, poor conditions, robbing of the country on the Jews is an ongoing widely present issue in Hungary. Yes, in the intellectual circles it is a joke (until is not, proven by Bayer), but in other places it buys you vote. Can you tell me one thing that Fidesz took responsibility of? Actually next to racism Hungary also exercises a hate of any other politics or political party. I am not sure if there is a word for that, maybe anti opposition. Anything that is wrong with Hungary was done by the MSZP, by the EU, by the IMF, by Gyurcsany, the philosophers and foreign conspirators according to Fidesz. Jobbik took this idea step further by introducing the foreignheartedness. Anyone who does not worship the ideas of Jobbik are all foreignhearted. Fidesz also grew up to embrace this strange concept, but wit this the two parties started to grow closer to each other. It is not only about the Roma, the Jews, the homosexuals, but the liberals, foreigners, opposition, and students. THere is huge connection indeed.

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  11. London Calling!

    I’m also amazed at how much ‘electioneering’ is going on for Fidesz: the backs of buses; these banner-type messages; and other bill-board campaigns too.

    No wonder they want to ban other parties – and leave their own un-contested propaganda with a free run.

    Another nail in the coffin of EU democratic principles that have to be added to the list for the final day of reckoning.

    Someone needs to start collecting the evidence.

    Very Belarusian that! – Very!

    Regards

    Charlie

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  12. Surely, protests against Bayer’s vile article should be organised and conducted by Hungarian civic society, not discredited politicians campaigning for votes. The fact that it wasn’t is rather shameful.

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  13. What I wanted to say is that the undecided voters don’t care about these issues. The leftist, liberals will not vote for Fidesz, however much they will condemn Bayer, and the anti-semite and anti-roma radicals will vote for Fidesz, whatever it does. (In addition, the general leftist voter is also quite anti-roma or even anti-semite, just not radically so, and dont assign too much importance to this issue, as opposed to the strongly rightist voters).

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  14. Mutt :

    LEcso :
    Do you know what the sad thing is about the protest?

    idiots1.jpg, idiots4.jpg, idiots9.jpg ??? Where did you get this picts?

    Yes sorry about that, I googled for it quickly, and found them on a website of slight different political orientation.

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  15. “(I’m no expert on football – so will await Paul’s expertise – and opportunity to have another pop at Israel!)”

    Charlie, I’m sure even you realise that my attitude towards Israel and Zionism is far beyond the childish desire to have “a pop” at them.

    As for Israel being ‘in Europe’, it clearly isn’t.

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  16. nyaripal Israel is as far as football is concerned in Europe, because it’s Asian neighbors are not ready to compete with teams of the Jewish state.
    Be it as it be. FIFA was right to punish the Hungarian football association because of the antisemitic riot.

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  17. London Calling!

    I just put it down to Geography not being the football community’s strong point.

    And Kazakhstan? (et al)

    …and regarding your ‘Israeli’ pops – they are inappropriate on here!

    Regards

    Charlie

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  18. “The true colors of Fidesz became obvious this weekend”.

    Those “true colours” being that there are a number of anti-semites and racists within its ranks? That Orban would sell his granny to the nearest white slave trader (or pander to the anti-semitism and racism endemic within all strata of Hungarian society) if it meant several more votes in Ujpest next election?

    It’s hardly news is it?

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  19. I personally don’t believe that Fidesz is an antisemitic party.
    Look how they started out, as liberals, then suddenly the switcharoo to conservatism, did he change his belief system? No, he just thought his original plan won’t get him what he wants (which is power), so he changed his tactics.

    He does the same now, ride on a wave of nationalism and xenophobia as long as it works out for him. If he loses support, he will simply remove Nyírő from the curriculum the same way they put it in (and I dont mean this literally about Nyírő, but about changing their tactics if the nationalist wave dies out).

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  20. “People want unity and hate party squabbles. They have a very bad opinion of parties already, and if they see disunity and petty quarrels they will hate them even more.”

    And yet the disunity displayed by the parties reflects quite well the disunity of the voters – provided they care and display more than just a general disgust for politics as such.This and the ideas circulated indeed do not bode well for 2014, but given that even people with clear political goals such as students, lawyers etc. prefer a strategy that tries to strictly avoid parties and wish to concentrate on just their own issue, no substantive change can be expected in 2014. But generally I still consider this disunity as an (apparently necessary) step to eventually finding out how an alternative Hungary could look like, certainly this sounds too positively, but I consider this kind of “brainstorming”. (And people should participate, and not require “unity” in matters where the population also often has quite contradictory views.)

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  21. Karl Pfeifer :
    nyaripal Israel is as far as football is concerned in Europe, because it’s Asian neighbors are not ready to compete with teams of the Jewish state.
    Be it as it be. FIFA was right to punish the Hungarian football association because of the antisemitic riot.

    Football federations are geographically, not politically, based. You could have used the same argument re South Africa a few years ago. That would have been absurd, but it’s the same logic.

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  22. CharlieH :
    London Calling!
    I just put it down to Geography not being the football community’s strong point.
    And Kazakhstan? (et al)
    …and regarding your ‘Israeli’ pops – they are inappropriate on here!
    Regards
    Charlie

    Perhaps you’d like to list a few of my “Israeli pops” and point out a) how they were ‘pops’ and b) how they weren’t in context with the article they were commenting on?

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  23. LEcso :
    I personally don’t believe that Fidesz is an antisemitic party.
    Look how they started out, as liberals, then suddenly the switcharoo to conservatism, did he change his belief system? No, he just thought his original plan won’t get him what he wants (which is power), so he changed his tactics.
    He does the same now, ride on a wave of nationalism and xenophobia as long as it works out for him. If he loses support, he will simply remove Nyírő from the curriculum the same way they put it in (and I dont mean this literally about Nyírő, but about changing their tactics if the nationalist wave dies out).

    An interesting view, and quite possibly an accurate reading of Orbán. But I suspect his internal politics really have changed over the years. He may have made his political switches to get/keep power, but I think they also pretty much matched his own political ‘development’.

    And, as far as I can tell from the many Fideszi I know, Fidesz itself most definitely IS a racist and anti-Semitic party.

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  24. Kingfisher :
    Surely, protests against Bayer’s vile article should be organised and conducted by Hungarian civic society, not discredited politicians campaigning for votes. The fact that it wasn’t is rather shameful.

    Yes, for sure. Leave out any politicians discredited by Orban…. bahaha that would live us with Fidesz protesting against itself. It is not going to happen. Orban discredits even his buddies. The only people who he did not discredited so far is an axe murderer.

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  25. Some1 :

    Kingfisher :
    Surely, protests against Bayer’s vile article should be organised and conducted by Hungarian civic society, not discredited politicians campaigning for votes. The fact that it wasn’t is rather shameful.

    Yes, for sure. Leave out any politicians discredited by Orban…. bahaha that would live us with Fidesz protesting against itself. It is not going to happen. Orban discredits even his buddies. The only people who he did not discredited so far is an axe murderer.

    I agree with Some1. Dividing the so-called “civic society” from parties is exactly what Fidesz wants. Anyone who falls for that is helping Viktor Orbán.

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  26. The following, not completely European countries are members of the European Football Federation, UEFA.

    Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Turkey and Israel.

    Dear @nyaripal, why do you single out Israel?

    By the way, if we stuck to the original definition of the names of the continents, then

    Europe = Greece + Bulgaria
    Asia = Turkey
    Africa = Tunisia

    that would leave 100+ countries without a continent to belong to.

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  27. Meanwhile I watched the video Spectator recommended. The guy’s name is Tamás Pindroch.

    The only thing I can add that Pindroch was more subdued this time than his normal wont. Most likely because it is truly difficult to defend Zsolt Bayer’s article and he knows it. Otherwise, he is a despicable character I have been following for some years.

    I first encountered him in a program on ATV ages ago that turned out to be a flop. They got together four journalists who were supposed to “discuss” political events. The discussion turned out to be a shouting match impossible even to follow. He was one of those representing the right. He hasn’t changed a bit. I don’t remember which paper he worked for at that point. Perhaps Magyar Nemzet. But, after all, Zsolt Bayer also moved on to Magyar Hirlap from Magyar Nemzet. There is no distinct closure between the two publications, let’s face it. One of the regular contributors to Magyar Hírlap is László Bogár–allegedly an economist– who was secretary of state in the first Orbán government!

    Let’s not fool ourselves. Orbán’s ideology is not very far, if at all, from Jobbik and the far right.

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  28. tappanch :
    I have the feeling that this turnaround is a prelude to a Fidesz-Jobbik coalition in 2014.

    This has always been in the cards. Stealthily, Orban has building Jobbik strength by championing some of their policies; and what he allows them to get away–ie. monstrous,
    parliamentary speeches.

    Later, Orban will claim that western (read, ‘jewish’) conspiracies against Hungary have forced
    him to bolster his government by the addition of Jobbik participation.

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  29. Some1 :

    Kingfisher :
    Surely, protests against Bayer’s vile article should be organised and conducted by Hungarian civic society, not discredited politicians campaigning for votes. The fact that it wasn’t is rather shameful.

    Yes, for sure. Leave out any politicians discredited by Orban…. bahaha that would live us with Fidesz protesting against itself. It is not going to happen. Orban discredits even his buddies. The only people who he did not discredited so far is an axe murderer.

    How much does an axe-murderer go for?

    Ask the bankers in Dubai.

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  30. London Calling!

    Paul – you obviously missed – or chose to ignore – the subtly of my ‘Kazakhstan’ post – which Tappanch so perfectly fills out (Thank-you Tappanch).

    And you added ‘Zionism’ too to your comments.

    You don’t get it do you?

    I don’t propose to give a litany of your pops at Israel – however unbalanced – (because that’s how you express them) because – as I said – it is inappropriate here.

    Just consider – that when you do have a ‘pop’ – we are unable to ‘balance’ your statements because we, at least, observe ‘blog etiquette’ on Eva’s blog.

    Some of us feel that you – and more importantly – others – may get the impression that your views (even tacitly) represent the body politic of Hungarian Spectrum.

    Well they don’t. Geddit?

    Regards

    Charlie

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  31. The European Union commissioner for digital agenda Neelie Kroes today:

    “I am horrified by the words of Zsolt Bayer about Hungary’s Roma community (‘animals’ etc.). This is not what I call freedom of speech/media,” she tweeted.
    “If someone calls Roma community ‘not human’ – I’m talking about Zsolt Bayer of Fidesz in Hungary – that is a sign they’re not a worthy ally,” she said in another tweet.
    Last week Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, called Bayer’s remarks unacceptable and said that the European Union has no room for racism, hate speech or any other forms of intolerance.

    “that is a sign they’re not a worthy ally”…they…meaning VO, Fidesz and the other racist himself.

    BTW:

    Next storm is coming…
    “Jobbik’s Volner calls for restrictions on Gypsy births at site of stabbing”
    The international news agencies will combine the 2 stories and more. Making it very clear that VO is an “unworthy ally”.

    AND:

    Email:
    To Prem Radhakishun,
    Blah Blah Blah, insults….
    You liar pig!
    Best regards,
    Zsolt Bayer, columnist,
    Magyar Hírlap, Hungary bayer.zsolt@magyarhirlap.hu
    So here is the emailaddress of him. Feel free to
    mail him.

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  32. nyaripal :

    Karl Pfeifer :
    nyaripal Israel is as far as football is concerned in Europe, because it’s Asian neighbors are not ready to compete with teams of the Jewish state.
    Be it as it be. FIFA was right to punish the Hungarian football association because of the antisemitic riot.

    Football federations are geographically, not politically, based. You could have used the same argument re South Africa a few years ago. That would have been absurd, but it’s the same logic.

    FIFA had the right to put Israel on the European league because the Arab (Westasian) neighbours of Israel would not compete with teams of the Jewish state.
    The other solution would have been to dismiss the Arab countries from competing and let Israel compete against itself. An absurdity.

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  33. Not the storm, but the elections are coming. So expect more stories which fire up supporters.

    Rule number one: fire up and bring your own supporters to the election booths.

    Rule no. two: Do things which are good for your own voters, but which do not alienate undecided voters — these could be things which the other side hates, but it does not matter until your own voters get fired up and the undecided voters don’t care.

    Plus your own supporters may just looove when the other side gets angry. To see liberals angry — priceless. Fidesz and Jobbik are comin’ to getcha.

    (Sarcasm, if it would not be clear).

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  34. While I’m in total agreement with most of the contributors to this blog on Bayer’s article, I don’t think mentioning Ron Werber would be antisemitism. Tyker is right when he writes that his name is synonymous to the 2002 and 2006 MSZP campaigns and I don’t think even the most ardent MSZP supporters could be proud of those.

    Bottom line is, while I think referring to Ron Werber is a populist and cheap move, declaring it anti-semitism just strengthens the popular perception that criticizing people who happen to be jews is by definition anti-semitism.

    I have no idea about the origins of Árpád Habony, but I can totally see a reverse situation when right wing protesters are welcomed with a sign “Don’t listen to Árpád Habony!”. And I wish Fidesz didn’t…

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  35. Karl: “FIFA had the right to put Israel on the European league because the Arab (Westasian) neighbours of Israel would not compete with teams of the Jewish state.
    The other solution would have been to dismiss the Arab countries from competing and let Israel compete against itself. An absurdity.”

    But it’s the same reasoning then! Just because the Arabs doesn’t like them they play with other countries some of which seemingly don’t like them either? (Just a thought experiment, not my standing). Ok, I know that at least in Hungary they don’t have to face suicide bombers so for all practical purposes, it was a wise move. But in principle, the correct move would have been to dismiss the Arab countries and punish them as now they are punishing us. What if e.g. Israel makes it to the World Cup and the Arab teams refuse to play with them? You can’t steer away forever.

    As a sidenote, while I understand the reasons behind the punishment, I think it wouldn’t really hurt the ones responsible. On the contrary, it’ll give them another opportunity to make their paranoidic point and gain support for it (Don’t forget that anti-semitism is by all means more like a religion than a political ideology). The ones that are loosing the most on this are the players themselves who have to fight one of their most critical games without support on the spot.

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  36. On a related note, I just can’t understand why it is so impossible, to confiscate these kind of signs from the “fans”. If you think this is an Israel related problem you are wrong. Football fanatics somehow started to coincide with extremist throughout this region and it’s yet another obvious sign of the dysfunctionality of law enforcement to see all this symbols of hatred in the stadiums. Anybody remembers the Romania-Hungary game when the Romanian ultras had a giant sign saying:

    “How long does a Hungarian mother carry the shit before dumping? 9 months!”

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  37. Paul Wal :
    Zsolt Bayer, columnist,
    Magyar Hírlap, Hungary bayer.zsolt@magyarhirlap.hu
    So here is the emailaddress of him. Feel free to
    mail him.

    I wish that’s all it would take. Bayer’s whole life, and what comes with it, like circe of friends. prestige, career, and money are all tied to one single word “hate”. He is not even close to well-rounded journalist, as he was no-one before bringing attention to himself through hate propaganda. That his living, his bread and butter and the purpose of his life. He is Hungary’s Lindsay Lohan (he is known not for his “art” but for his controversies). Tomi Deutsch is not known for his great politics (mention one thing he has done), but for his potty mouth. There is a long line of mediocre (or below) people who found their living in this new era. Bayer will never give ip, but would get a kick out off all the email he receives, as he got what he wanted, the most read journalist…

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  38. It is difficult for me to understand the calculation of Viktor Orbán. Nevertheless I guess he believes, that by supporting Bayer and his racist rant, he is a) taking away votes from Jobbik b) catering for mainstream racists.
    While I doubt his success as far as a. he is of course right as far as b is concerned.
    Orbán did not learn the lesson of Hungarian history. Those who want to take out the wind of the sails of extreme right are never successful.
    Just yesterday galamus published an article with the facsimile of a “Christian political daily of Györ (1942 04 21). Prime Minister Miklós Kállay said: “Nincsen más végleges megoldás, mint a 800.000 zsidó kitelepitése”. “There is no other
    Final solution than the expulsion of 800.000 Jews”
    Now Kállay was under Hungarian conservatives a “moderate”. Orbán is when compared with Vona also a “moderate”. But in the long run, those who advocate for whatever reason an extremist (final) solution, always strengthen the extremists.
    I do not suggest that Orbán wants the expulsion of the 600000-800000 Roma. I do not suggest that he is a racist. But he is ready to use a racist rabble rouser to maximize votes…
    Orbán does apparently think he can rely on his friends from the European peoples
    Party and has not to worry about public opinion abroad. I guess this is a very short view of things.
    Not only the left and liberal Media is critical of racism. Just a few days ago FAZ published a very critical article on Bayer’s racist rant. FAZ is read by everyone in Germany who counts and it is in Germany where the image of Hungary is going now from bad to worse. So things could change in Germany rapidly.

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  39. http://www.information.dk/447809

    Recent overview in Danish (Google translator does a good job englishing it) by Tamas Gellert, apparently written before the Zsolt Bayer affair. Hungary’s downward slide seems inexorable, and is being driven even more by Fidesz’s (and especially Viktor Orban’s) psychopathic megalomania than by Hungarian culture’s burgeoning visceral bigotry; the former is just capitalizing on the latter. The only hope would be a unified opposition, but Hungarian culture seems so far incapable of mustering even that: The divisive xenophobia — ethnic as well as ideological — seems to be metastasizing at all scales, even within families. (I use the exotic words to hold the ugliness of it all at arm’s length.)

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  40. Jano, it is the Hungarian authorities’ job to supervise the behavior of the fans. As soon as the demonstration began the hooligans should have been removed by the police. This is what FIFA demands and what the Hungarian police doesn’t do.

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  41. Jano :
    While I’m in total agreement with most of the contributors to this blog on Bayer’s article, I don’t think mentioning Ron Werber would be antisemitism. Tyker is right when he writes that his name is synonymous to the 2002 and 2006 MSZP campaigns and I don’t think even the most ardent MSZP supporters could be proud of those.
    Bottom line is, while I think referring to Ron Werber is a populist and cheap move, declaring it anti-semitism just strengthens the popular perception that criticizing people who happen to be jews is by definition anti-semitism.
    I have no idea about the origins of Árpád Habony, but I can totally see a reverse situation when right wing protesters are welcomed with a sign “Don’t listen to Árpád Habony!”. And I wish Fidesz didn’t…

    I agree and I do not agree. I think there is not a coincidence that they brought that particular person into the “line of thought”. It is an association and affiliation game. Just like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who are not Jews but I bet you anything if you would do a quick flaw-survey on Blaha Lujza ted, asking people what do you think about he heritage of the two names, 80% would say Jewish, maybe 40% would know that is from a play by Shakespeare. We are talking about the average Hungarian citizens here, those who these bozos are targeting. The more educated ones read between the lines. Eva, myself and others did. It is not a single event, it is not a slip of the tongue. It must be put into context of Hungarian politics.

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  42. Apparently the Dutch website for Prem Radhakishun’s broadcasts has taken notice of Bayer Zsolt and his supporters unique style for tasteful commentary, most of it in something resembling the English language: http://premtime.ntr.nl/2012/03/15/spreekbuis-fascistoide-regering-basht-prem-hongarije/

    Bayer’s comment is the fourth down, and unprintable here, but well worth a read for those who like listening to bullies shouting obscenities in the playground. From his awkward abilities in English it is a good guess he spends a lot of his time trolling around other English language websites leaving comments – we have seen this style before, haven’t we? Bayer comes off not so much a journalist as a party PR troll with a newspaper to play with. And if Bayer was hoping to convince anybody in the Netherlands or anywhere else that he does not represent racist views, well, this selection of responses is one heck of an own-goal!

    In fact, FIDESZ seems to have taken the ethos of the internet troll to its heart with the use of the giant banner announcing “Don’t stand by murderers, don’t listen to Ron Werber”… even the FIDESZ friendly Mandiner blog noticed it: “A Fidesz a fine art of trollin’ mestereként egy molinóval egyszerűen legyilkospártolózta a ránézésre főleg nyugalmazott szakszervezeti titkárokból és háztömbbizalmikból álló 300-400 fős társaságot,..” http://mandiner.blog.hu/2013/01/13/megint_tettek_a_rasszizmus_ellen

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  43. Jano :
    On a related note, I just can’t understand why it is so impossible, to confiscate these kind of signs from the “fans”. If you think this is an Israel related problem you are wrong. Football fanatics somehow started to coincide with extremist throughout this region and it’s yet another obvious sign of the dysfunctionality of law enforcement to see all this symbols of hatred in the stadiums. Anybody remembers the Romania-Hungary game when the Romanian ultras had a giant sign saying:
    “How long does a Hungarian mother carry the shit before dumping? 9 months!”

    Maybe you want to post this on a soccer forum. Hungary cannot be responsible for the Romanian or the English soccer fans, but it is responsible for its own. What you are saying here is the exact thing Fidesz does over and over, “but others do it”, “I seen it before”, etc. Most of those BS are taken out of context of course. You can also file a complaint with FIFA on the Romanian behaviour. Did you? I know for a fact that many people and organizations actually went to FIFA about what happened. THat is that. I am glad that something has been done, and I hope it will star the ball rolling for similar problems in other parts of the world.

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  44. Jano :
    While I’m in total agreement with most of the contributors to this blog on Bayer’s article, I don’t think mentioning Ron Werber would be antisemitism. Tyker is right when he writes that his name is synonymous to the 2002 and 2006 MSZP campaigns and I don’t think even the most ardent MSZP supporters could be proud of those.
    Bottom line is, while I think referring to Ron Werber is a populist and cheap move, declaring it anti-semitism just strengthens the popular perception that criticizing people who happen to be jews is by definition anti-semitism.

    Ron Werber is a consultant of MSZP. He has nothing to do with DK, who organized the demonstration against Bayer & Co. Did Ron Werber call for the demonstration? No, did Ron Werber say anything about subject matter? No.
    So why did they put his name up? How is putting his name up without any logical connection “critizising” him?

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  45. Re: Mr A. Habony, Premier Orban’s chief adviser and confidant.

    I have read, but not seen any proof of it that his father or grandfather was a high-ranking officer in Horthy’s army or gendarmerie (csendőrség).

    Children are not responsible for their father’s deeds, but fathers do influence their children’s thinking.

    See, for instance
    http://nol.hu/archivum/20101009-a_spindoktor_spindoktora

    Does anyone have more info?

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  46. @Karl Pfeifer:

    Not only FAZ but also our local Schwab newspaper had several very critical articles on Orbán and Fidesz lately (I had a link here to one of them) and of course the liberal/left magazines like SPIEGEL have been constantly reminding us that the Hungarian government is not centrist but very right wing!

    Racism that Bayer displays is not liked in Christian Democrat circles either.

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  47. tappanch :

    I have read, but not seen any proof of it that his father or grandfather was a high-ranking officer in Horthy’s army or gendarmerie (csendőrség).
    Children are not responsible for their father’s deeds, but fathers do influence their children’s thinking.

    If we accept that, then we also have to accept attacks on Bauer Tamás (and a great many other SZDSZ liberals) on the same grounds. I suggest we don’t enter that argument.

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  48. Eva S. Balogh :
    Jano, it is the Hungarian authorities’ job to supervise the behavior of the fans. As soon as the demonstration began the hooligans should have been removed by the police. This is what FIFA demands and what the Hungarian police doesn’t do.

    I perfectly agree, that was my point too. The dysfunctionality of the police is singular in Hungary and this is just one of the cases.

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  49. Karl Pfeifer :

    Jano :
    While I’m in total agreement with most of the contributors to this blog on Bayer’s article, I don’t think mentioning Ron Werber would be antisemitism. Tyker is right when he writes that his name is synonymous to the 2002 and 2006 MSZP campaigns and I don’t think even the most ardent MSZP supporters could be proud of those.
    Bottom line is, while I think referring to Ron Werber is a populist and cheap move, declaring it anti-semitism just strengthens the popular perception that criticizing people who happen to be jews is by definition anti-semitism.

    Ron Werber is a consultant of MSZP. He has nothing to do with DK, who organized the demonstration against Bayer & Co. Did Ron Werber call for the demonstration? No, did Ron Werber say anything about subject matter? No.
    So why did they put his name up? How is putting his name up without any logical connection “critizising” him?

    Just because DK split from MSZP, the public perception still regards them as one and the same. Gyurcsány won in 2006 thanks to the campaign advice from Werber.

    As I said, referring to campaign managers is populist and cheap if not pathetic. My point is that I don’t see a direct proof of antisemitism in this. If Ron Werber had the same fame and role in the political history of the past decade but was from South Korea, his name would still have been on the transparent.

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  50. Jano :
    On a related note, I just can’t understand why it is so impossible, to confiscate these kind of signs from the “fans”. If you think this is an Israel related problem you are wrong. Football fanatics somehow started to coincide with extremist throughout this region and it’s yet another obvious sign of the dysfunctionality of law enforcement to see all this symbols of hatred in the stadiums. Anybody remembers the Romania-Hungary game when the Romanian ultras had a giant sign saying:
    “How long does a Hungarian mother carry the shit before dumping? 9 months!”

    Unbelievable… how are people not ejected from the game for stuff like this? I’ve seen people get ejected from baseball parks for far less. Even hockey, which is a much more spirited game would find this unacceptable and would evict offenders without thinking.

    OT, looks like Matolcsy at war with those “stupid analysts” that caused the recent HUF free fall. Nope, couldn’t possibly have anything to do with his statement that having a strong forint was a mistake… If I could vote, I’d vote for him just because of all the money I’ve made just by having him open his mouth and putting his foot in it at just the right time. Well, he seems to speak often enough that you don’t need much luck to benefit from his well thought out positions on finance.

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  51. We used to live opposite a small pub that would occasionally have parties in the small hours at great volume. No one would ring the police to complain (which is what the police are for, after all) because the police immediately want to know who you are, what your identity card is etc etc. And the fear is that they would saunter into the pub and say “X Y Z opposite have been complaining.” As Jano says, the police are totally dysfunctional.

    One of the reasons why political corruption in Hungary is so transparent (I know Eva doubts this but she is wrong) and open is that there is no way that anyone can report in confidence, nor is there a police force that would investigate in earnest.

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  52. Jano :
    Bottom line is, while I think referring to Ron Werber is a populist and cheap move, declaring it anti-semitism just strengthens the popular perception that criticizing people who happen to be jews is by definition anti-semitism.

    Happen to be? Check this little article in the Heti Valasz (a pro-Fidesz rag). The itty-bitty detail is mentioned seven (7) times in 4 paragraphs about basically nothing.

    http://hetivalasz.hu/itthon/sokatmondo-fenykepre-tettunk-szert-59160

    Again, I think the Ron Werber message is for their own. Orban decided to deploy the Zs-Bomb.

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  53. Jano :

    Just because DK split from MSZP, the public perception still regards them as one and the same. Gyurcsány won in 2006 thanks to the campaign advice from Werber.

    As I said, referring to campaign managers is populist and cheap if not pathetic. My point is that I don’t see a direct proof of antisemitism in this. If Ron Werber had the same fame and role in the political history of the past decade but was from South Korea, his name would still have been on the transparent.

    (1) I don’t believe that people at large think that DK and MSZP is the same. The political discussion between MSZP and Gyurcsány was long and widely publicized.

    (2) I don’t believe that Werber had anything to do with the 2006 elections. The only thing I found was a Magyar Nemzet article saying that “Werber may return.”

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  54. Lwiih: This time Matolcsy might be right for once. As far as I can see the USD/HUF rate is pretty constant, it seems to me that the Euro is the one getting stronger in which case it is the consequence of the ECB’s actions. I don’t think Matolcsy can surprise the market anymore. At least I hope so…

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  55. This is ridiculous. The demonisation of or obsession with Ron Werber is necessary only because he could be a nice scapegoat if Fidesz loses, plusz Fidesz has Kubatov, so “MSZP is also using dirty tricks”. Werber is a pefect person to hate: Jewish, foreigner (American no less) and supports MSZP, I mean “it’s like the communists again, never truly Hungarians, right, always trying to sell out and ‘internationalize’ Hungary”. Nothing changes, f***ing communists, sorry post-communists, but they are the same bunch, right?

    Fidesz has similar American advisors, but for whatever reason nobody writes about them.

    It is ridiculous even to think that one person (one advisor) can change the outcome of elections and alone can make someone win.

    The only advantage he has as an advisor (compared to his colleagues) is that he already has some Hungarian experience, and it is much easier to use him than a completely new guy who has no idea about Hungary.

    He is not a genious and not a wizard. He is one of hudreds of advisors working in elections around the world.

    In addition, Werber knows exactly that MSZP does not have to express that they are condemning Bayer; MSZP has the necessary credentials. Those who hate Bayer will vote for them anyway (ok some for Bajnai, but certainyl not for Fidesz), and they don’t have to overemphasise the issue when undecided people would want something new on jobs, pensions, health care, education (and not on anti-semitism). People shold knwo that politicians care about big issues like jobs etc. and not about – to the majority – marginal issues like anti-semitism, or anti-roma politicians. It would show that politicians really care about each other (another quasi-politiacn like Bayer), but not about the everyday problems of the voters.

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  56. Mutt: The (otherwise pretty low quality) article is on Ron Werber’s actions as a political activist in Israel. You think that the fact that he is from Israel is irrelevant in that context?

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  57. Karl Pfeifer I agree with you.

    I don’t understand why Orban thinks he has to support this extreme kind of racist ranting in order to gain and keep voters. I’m Hungarian (-born) and I think a bit more highly of Hungarians than that.
    They claim they have to support Bayer because the majority of Hungarians hate gypsies and they think finally someone is telling the truth. But do Fidesz really think that saying

    “We are shocked and condemn the attacks and we will urge the authorities to deal with the criminals swiftly and strictly. This kind of crime is unacceptable. But we mustn’t generalize, nobody should be called an animal etc – INSTEAD we will devise some policies preventing this sort of attacks etc” –

    do they think that saying that would make the average Hungarian disappointed?

    I’m not sure about that.
    Most Hungarians might hate gypsies (sadly!) but Hungarians usually appreciate it if someone talks sense to them.

    Apparently (some sources say) most Fidesz leaders privately condemn Bayer’s behaviour but they stick to the consensus – “the people agree with Bayer, so we will support him.”

    I hate the picture this creates of us all. And Karl, you are right – this is exactly the kind of scandal that alerts people in other countries. They might not be able to analyse the monetary council’s decision about forint devaluation and the changes in state bond yields – but news about repeated racist and antisemitic phenomena will have by now created a very gloomy picture of Hungary “as an ally”.

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  58. Jano :
    Lwiih: This time Matolcsy might be right for once. As far as I can see the USD/HUF rate is pretty constant, it seems to me that the Euro is the one getting stronger in which case it is the consequence of the ECB’s actions. I don’t think Matolcsy can surprise the market anymore. At least I hope so…

    Sorry but this isn’t how one speaks to financial markets. If they want to ease the forint into a new trading zone there is a way to do that. Making statements like is destabilizing and costs people real money. If you’ve just invested in the country you’ve just lost 5% of your investment in the span of a few weeks and with that type of statement you can expect to lose more. Who in their right mind is going to make that kind of bet? Oh, the bond markets will because the ROI is greater than the loss due to currency flux. Oh but humm, now we’re going to freeze the market by taking the exchange risk out of the mix by issuing 4.5 billion euro’s in FX bonds. Lets see how that works!

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  59. Jano :
    Mutt: The (otherwise pretty low quality) article is on Ron Werber’s actions as a political activist in Israel. You think that the fact that he is from Israel is irrelevant in that context?

    Exactly. The context …

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  60. Jano :

    Karl Pfeifer :

    Jano :
    While I’m in total agreement with most of the contributors to this blog on Bayer’s article, I don’t think mentioning Ron Werber would be antisemitism. Tyker is right when he writes that his name is synonymous to the 2002 and 2006 MSZP campaigns and I don’t think even the most ardent MSZP supporters could be proud of those.
    Bottom line is, while I think referring to Ron Werber is a populist and cheap move, declaring it anti-semitism just strengthens the popular perception that criticizing people who happen to be jews is by definition anti-semitism.

    Ron Werber is a consultant of MSZP. He has nothing to do with DK, who organized the demonstration against Bayer & Co. Did Ron Werber call for the demonstration? No, did Ron Werber say anything about subject matter? No.
    So why did they put his name up? How is putting his name up without any logical connection “critizising” him?

    Just because DK split from MSZP, the public perception still regards them as one and the same. Gyurcsány won in 2006 thanks to the campaign advice from Werber.
    As I said, referring to campaign managers is populist and cheap if not pathetic. My point is that I don’t see a direct proof of antisemitism in this. If Ron Werber had the same fame and role in the political history of the past decade but was from South Korea, his name would still have been on the transparent.

    I beg to disagree. Ron Werber had nothing to do with this sordid racist rant of Bayer. He did not voice any opinion. So I suppose to bring his name up is done in order to appeal to existing prejudices. Orbán’s consultant Ferenc Kumin has a very interesting view how to go about antisemitism. He believes, that a picture of his boss with a kipa on his head and a letter of a Chief rabbi will cover up anything said in Orbán’s orbit.
    http://ferenckumin.tumblr.com/post/34297046301/a-magnificent-relationship
    Which of course shows they have no clue. This Chief Rabbi is a government employee in Israel and has no influence whatsoever in Israel or the Jewish World.

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  61. Bowen :
    I’ve just read the comments in English on the Dutch blog: http://premtime.ntr.nl/2012/03/15/spreekbuis-fascistoide-regering-basht-prem-hongarije/
    Well, how very ‘Peace March’.
    Horrifying.

    A same shame here – and they are supposedly Hungarians!
    And I am a Hungarian too, (even after a quarter of a century abroad) but I seriously tempted to reconsider my status and the alternatives…

    Otherwise I think that exactly the ‘Peace March’ angle made the Fidesz to take a definitive stance – as the link Petkin provided above, #3, show – losing their ‘Poster Boy’ in need isn’t something what they dare to risk. So, they using the usual communication stunts, blaming just about everything and everybody else, while fiercely trying to explain away, what Bayer really intended to say, in order to “save” the worthy society from those ‘animals’…!

    Apart from the question, that just why the ‘animals’ should be dealt with ‘by any means’ – after all, I’m not a Christian Democrat Deputy Prime Minister with undying desire to slaughter animals for pleasure or recreation, – Bayer is not a single loony zealot with some personal agenda to settle, or some untreated condition have gotten out of control, oh, no!

    Bayer is still the personal friend of Viktor Orban, still the owner of the “Number Five” party membership card of the Hungarian ruling party, the FIDESZ, not to mention his role in ‘saving’ Orban from the ‘attacks from the West” – his untouchable status is of utmost importance.
    If Bayer falls, he will drag the whole ‘Peace March’ charade with him, and that would be a disaster, let’s face it.

    However, the worst conclusion to me, that Orban rather will face the condemnation of the civilized world, than risk losing power, by expelling Bayer and sacrifice the ‘Peace March’, disappointing a herd of voters in the act.

    A power-greedy piteous soccer fan’s Viktor-y over civilized Human values.
    Here we are, folks, Hungary, 2013.

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  62. Kingfisher :
    We used to live opposite a small pub that would occasionally have parties in the small hours at great volume. No one would ring the police to complain (which is what the police are for, after all) because the police immediately want to know who you are, what your identity card is etc etc. And the fear is that they would saunter into the pub and say “X Y Z opposite have been complaining.” As Jano says, the police are totally dysfunctional.
    One of the reasons why political corruption in Hungary is so transparent (I know Eva doubts this but she is wrong) and open is that there is no way that anyone can report in confidence, nor is there a police force that would investigate in earnest.

    I have my own little Hungarian police story:

    Some years ago I was leaning over our balcony wall, trying to see what my kids were up to in the garden, when I noticed cannabis plants growing in pots on the balcony underneath. I mentioned this to our policeman neighbour a few days later (I honestly only mentioned it because I thought it was funny, as the balcony in question is immediately above his – I never thought anyone would be bothered by someone growing a few cannabis plants).

    But I was wrong – our neighbour was horrified that this ‘crime’ was occurring just above his ceiling and reported it to his mates at the local police station. He also asked me to take some photos as proof – this I did (with some difficulty!). The next day I was asked to go down to his flat and bring my camera. I did as requested and was surprised to find half a dozen police in our neighbour’s flat. They studied my photos with such seriousness, that I began to think I’d done the wrong thing and was about to get my downstairs neighbour into big trouble.

    Some days later, I noticed that the plants were still there and asked our policeman neighbour what was happening. “We decided to do nothing”, was his reply.

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    1. @ nyaripal. So you are Paul?

      Is it true that you were squealing on your neighbours – because of some cannabis plants?

      I can’t believe it! You know, in many countries cannabis is illegal. But some people have MS and just need it, never mind the law. Others just have it for fun. Is it your business?

      If your other neighbour is a policeman, he is still the police. This is disgusting – or are you so naive?

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  63. Incidentally, I seem to be stuck with ‘nyaripal’ at the moment. It used to give me the option to change it, so I could switch back to ‘Paul’, but it no longer does. Still, at least it’s easier to post as nyaripal – as Paul I nearly always had to login again (twice!) before it would accept my posts.

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  64. I did feel bad about it, but I just assumed that growing cannabis plants for your own use in a climate like Hungary’s would be so commonplace as to be unremarkable. Our policeman neighbour is a young guy and seemed pretty laid-back, so I thought he’d enjoy the joke that the guy above him (who had only recently moved in and didn’t know his downstairs neighbour was a cop) was growing pot. How wrong I was!

    So here endeth lesson number one in not assuming similarities between cultures that appear much the same!

    On a similar note, the way Hungarians dress at home (i.e. often in next to nothing during the summer) and their apparent lack of concern with public bodily exposure (at least compared to the uptight Brits) misled me to assume that they also had a more relaxed attitude towards sex as well (as in the Scandinavian countries). Luckily I never made a similar mistake in this area before I discovered how far I’d misread this!

    On my first experience of Hungary, all those years ago, one of my surprises was finding out just how similar the people and the culture was to the UK’s. In the years that have followed, I have gradually discovered the exact opposite. Much as they might look the same on the surface, the cultures of the two countries are miles apart. The more I get to know Hungarians, the more ‘alien’ they seem.

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    1. @ nyaripal. Your honesty honours you. Also, not always drawing the wrong conclusions from half-naked women in a Hungarian summer probably spared you some problems.

      Unless they are Jewish or Gypsy, the “true” (?) many Magyars are a little different from middle Europeans according to my experience, even in Budapest.

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