Postscript to the World Jewish Congress in Budapest by Karl Pfeifer

Is the World Jewish Congress (WJC) a gathering of useless busybodies (“gittegylet” in Hungarian after Ferenc Molnár’s novel, The Boys of Paul Street) as the liberal Budapest weekly Magyar Narancs claims? An association of useless busybodies could never have gathered 500 delegates in Budapest for the occasion.

Is the WJC an entity that controls the governments of Israel or the USA as Hungarian conspiracy theorists claim? You must have lost any sense of reality to believe that.

Well, insofar as there was a discussion inside the WJC whether it was right to hold a meeting in Budapest, I can state that the conference was a clear and definite success. Rampant anti-Semitism and racism in Hungary have become the center of attention of the international media. All the delegates and journalists received a 20 page brochure entitled “Anti-Semitic Incidents in Hungary 2012” documenting the present situation.

When Orbán spoke about the Hungarians and the “Jewish people” in Hungary, that might have sounded good to an Israeli right-wing delegate who said to me accusingly: “Your definition of a nation is definitively European.”

Last autumn Prime Minister Orbán defined the Hungarian nation as an ethnically pure group held together by kinship and blood rather than by language and culture: “We are born into the myth of the Turul-bird just as we are born into our language and our history.”  A crazy notion considering that there are no ethnically pure Hungarians. But it helps you to label all those who do not believe in the pagan foundation myth as “Jews”.

A few days before the congress took place the German journalist Keno Verseck interviewed János Lázár, the powerful head of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s office. “Lázár complained bitterly […] about the international criticism of Hungary, above all that ‘part of the world labels all of us as anti-Semites.’ It is ‘unethical,’ the 38-year-old said, when ‘injuries in politics and business life are retaliated against with accusations of supposed anti-Semitism.’”

Of course, Lázár did not and could not name any serious politician or journalist who has ever claimed all Hungarians were anti-Semites. Lázár’s statement was a demagogic variant of the paranoid theory that Hungarians are eternal victims of unjust prejudice. And the second part of his statement about the “accusations of supposed anti-Semitism” is the typical defensive counterattack which claims that anybody raising the issue of anti-Semitism is doing so in bad faith and dishonestly.

To quote from the brochure “Anti-Semitic Incidents in Hungary 2012 handed out at the meeting:

“[…] The growing number of violent physical incidents clearly shows the impact on “street anti-Semitism” made by the anti-Semitic utterances of Jobbik in the Hungarian Parliament or by the relevant crimes committed during World War II. In 2012, the media reported several cases where individuals suffered slight injuries because of their real or supposed Jewish identity. Furthermore, the proliferation of hate groups, speeches inciting violence and assault at neo-Nazi mass demonstrations and the military training of radical paramilitary skinhead groups are raising serious concerns. Finally, Jobbik is steadily becoming one of the most popular political parties amongst young people and the camp of its sympathizers aged between 18 and 37 is rapidly expanding. This constitutes a huge threat to democracy and social tolerance in the long run. Young people, who often lack a secure future perspective, are increasingly influenced and radicalized by popular neo-Nazi websites, such as kuruc.info, which publish illegal contents and the authorities have not yet managed to close down.

In 2012, the Hungarian Jewish community were not subject to complete marginalization. Some members of the Jewish community have started to flee their community and country, mostly to the neighboring country, Austria. Although the government has reiterated a clear statement that Hungary provides a homeland and safety for the Jews, just like for any other minority, Hungarian Jewry witness a rise in anti-Semitic incidents, including media-reported incidents, graffiti and disgraced cemeteries, hate speech in both political and social forums, verbal abuse shared on social networks or personal stories that might never become public.

Anti-Semitism is not a problem of the Jewry but of the Hungarian society and government. In Hungary, there is evidence to prove that more and more people outwardly express their dismay towards Jews than those who are indifferent towards them or who are perhaps Philosemites. It is precisely for these reasons that this report has been prepared in order to shed light on the extent of anti-semitism in Hungary.“

When WJC president Ronald Lauder apologized to Orbán after the conference for not having mentioned an interview given by the Prime Minister to Eldad Beck of the Israeli daily Yedioth Achronoth, where he promised not to form a coalition with Jobbik or to depend on its tacit support, the right-wing media celebrated victory.

Jobbik supporter--"Honor is my loyalty" The Telegraph / Photo Reuters

A Jobbik supporter–“Honor is my loyalty” The Telegraph / Photo Reuters

Yet how true Orbán’s statements are can only be measured if he ever needs to depend on Jobbik’s support to stay in power–be it after the elections of 2014 or later. I personally consider them part of his usual “pávatánc” (peacock dance), the deft if tortuous maneuvers by which he has managed, so far with considerable success, to be applauded abroad for his non-anti-Semitism while gathering support from the all too real anti-Semites of Hungary.

A footnote to the attitude of Viktor Orbán’s government toward the Holocaust. Yesterday’s Le Monde reported that the Polish president of the Auschwitz Foundation, Piotr Cywinski, recently visited  the capitals of Europe asking for contributions for the maintenance of the camp. Some of the barracks are in very bad shape and need serious reconstruction. Professor Cywinski reported that he managed to collect 100 million euros from twenty-three countries. Even Turkey is among the donors. It was “only Hungary that offered nothing.”  Cywinsky has difficulty understanding the Orbán government’s attitude “when Auschwitz is the burial place of 400,000 Hungarians out of the 1.1 million victims.” So much for Orbán’s pious words at the World Jewish Congress in Budapest.–ESB

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Lévay Atilla
Guest
Excerpt from Speech by Ronald S. Lauder at the WJC in Budapest on 5th. May 2013. ” After 1920, the government of Admiral Miklós Horthy – a vicious anti-Semite – moved Hungary towards this irrational hatred. His government passed successive anti-Jewish laws and aligned itself closely with the Nazis in Germany. And in 1938, the Horthy regime enacted its version of the infamous Nuremberg Laws. The first deportations of Jews from Hungary to concentration camps began in 1941, on Admiral Horthy’s watch.” ——————————————————————————– Perhaps someone should bring it to Mr. Ronald Lauder’s attention, that Admiral Miklós Horthy was called as a witness in Nuremberg and was not a defendant. It would be interesting to know, how he would have been treated, had he claimed to be Hitler’s best Hungarian student, like the Soviet imposed Communist Dictator Mátyás Rákosi boasted about being Stalin’s best Hungarian student a few years later. Jewish books and a monthly periodical (Múlt és Jövő /Past and Future/) were published in Hungary until March 1944, till the German occupation of Hungary. Where else was that possible in German controlled Europe in those days? In fact no freely elected Hungarian Government ever placed the Jewish, or any other… Read more »
Minusio
Guest

Although the attention span of the media is very short, I agree that Feldmájer’s idea to organise the 14th WJC in Budapest was a brilliant move. And Orbán fell into the trap by exposing himself as the pathetic know-nothing megalomaniac he is.

I also generally like Karl Pfeifer’s articles and commentaries.

P.S. The skinhead with the expensive tattoo (SS symbol, swastika, slogan) has been shown around a lot recently. Why did nobody point out that the SS slogan (in use since 1932) is misspelt?

Minusio
Guest
Lévay Atilla : Excerpt from Speech by Ronald S. Lauder at the WJC in Budapest on 5th. May 2013. ” After 1920, the government of Admiral Miklós Horthy – a vicious anti-Semite – moved Hungary towards this irrational hatred. His government passed successive anti-Jewish laws and aligned itself closely with the Nazis in Germany. And in 1938, the Horthy regime enacted its version of the infamous Nuremberg Laws. The first deportations of Jews from Hungary to concentration camps began in 1941, on Admiral Horthy’s watch.” ——————————————————————————– Perhaps someone should bring it to Mr. Ronald Lauder’s attention, that Admiral Miklós Horthy was called as a witness in Nuremberg and was not a defendant. It would be interesting to know, how he would have been treated, had he claimed to be Hitler’s best Hungarian student, like the Soviet imposed Communist Dictator Mátyás Rákosi boasted about being Stalin’s best Hungarian student a few years later. Jewish books and a monthly periodical (Múlt és Jövő /Past and Future/) were published in Hungary until March 1944, till the German occupation of Hungary. Where else was that possible in German controlled Europe in those days? In fact no freely elected Hungarian Government ever placed the Jewish,… Read more »
Guest

@Lévay Attila:
Are you sure about “no concrentation camps” ?

From the biography of one of Hungary’s famous Jewish mathematicians:

http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Biographies/Turan.html

“In 1940 Turán was sent to a labour camp, and he was in and out of various forced labour camps throughout the war. This proved an horrific experience but, as we remark below, perhaps in the end his life was saved because of it.”

There’s also a very moving story how a guard recognised his name …

FransJ
Guest

In 2006 I wrote among others in an article for Dutch public radio:

“In an interview with Die Presse (20060921), Mr. Viktor Orbán stated: “I have myself accounted on my actions, not on my words.” In my interpretation it means that the words of Mr.Viktor Orbán are without value, meaningless and without content.”

Sometimes some of my acquaintances talk about the real Hungarian, when hearing this I usually state: “Well real Hungarian, as we know you had “some Turkish visitors” here for quite a while and believe me the majority didn’t go home for the weekend!”

Karl Pfeifer
Guest
Lévay Atilla : Excerpt from Speech by Ronald S. Lauder at the WJC in Budapest on 5th. May 2013. ” After 1920, the government of Admiral Miklós Horthy – a vicious anti-Semite – moved Hungary towards this irrational hatred. His government passed successive anti-Jewish laws and aligned itself closely with the Nazis in Germany. And in 1938, the Horthy regime enacted its version of the infamous Nuremberg Laws. The first deportations of Jews from Hungary to concentration camps began in 1941, on Admiral Horthy’s watch.” ——————————————————————————– Perhaps someone should bring it to Mr. Ronald Lauder’s attention, that Admiral Miklós Horthy was called as a witness in Nuremberg and was not a defendant. It would be interesting to know, how he would have been treated, had he claimed to be Hitler’s best Hungarian student, like the Soviet imposed Communist Dictator Mátyás Rákosi boasted about being Stalin’s best Hungarian student a few years later. Jewish books and a monthly periodical (Múlt és Jövő /Past and Future/) were published in Hungary until March 1944, till the German occupation of Hungary. Where else was that possible in German controlled Europe in those days? In fact no freely elected Hungarian Government ever placed the Jewish,… Read more »
Guest

The story of Turan in the labour camp in his own words:

http://stat.asu.edu/~halk/Turan.pdf

FransJ
Guest

In 1941 an “interment” camp was established in Garany(nowadays SK), just above Satoraljaujhely. Novisad was also a horror.

FransJ
Guest

Among others about Garany:
“Then we went to the concentration camp at Garany, some days later to Sátoraljaujhely, and hence we left to Auschwitz.This dreadful journay lasted 11 days. No water was given, and the Hungarian gendarmes on trial, who had come from the countrypolice school at Ungv#r behaved toward us ### fiercely, like wild beasts.”
http://www.degob.hu/index2.php?showjk=2695

Tyrker
Guest

Let me quote some of Jano’s words from a few days ago, as he’s the one who summarised the situation in the clearest terms:

Jano :
Orbán is winning the Jewish card here at least domestically big time. I understand that some of you feel very strongly about attacking Orbán from that angle but it’s backfiring in front of our very eyes right now…
I don’t claim to know or make a final verdict if Orbán and his system is antisemitic or not (I’m sure some of you will do it for me) What I feel pretty sure about by now is that attacking him over that is useless and highly counterproductive. Every effort to do so is viewed politically motivated and contrived by the overwhelming majority of the people (not always entirely mistakenly). By Lauder’s apology and the Hungarian Jewish communities siding with him, he wiped the floor with his opponents like it or not.

In light of this, Herr Pfeifer’s words, “the conference was a clear and definite success,” take on a whole new meaning. A clear and definite success it was, to be sure. For Orbán, that is.

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

Tyrker, The international media wrote about the real situation in Hungary and that was not flattering for Orbán and his ilk. Lauder’s apology was greatly publicised in Hungary but not abroad.
Orbán gave an interview to a Hebrew Israeli daily and the interview was not translated into English for days. I believe that most Hungarians have a lot of more urgent problems than the Orbán-Lauder match. And I am not convinced that non Fidesz people see it as you do.
The WJC congress in Budapest can be seen as a success for Orbán and failure for the WJC but it can also be seen as a success for WJC and a failure for Orbán. The international media could not be misled by government propaganda.

FransJ
Guest

in very short, Orbán doesn’t care to much about foreign media or the international opinion. Currently he has only on target, to win next years elections, for that he will pay any price. As to EU and the rest of the world he wants to gain time, 2 steps forward, 1 step back. If things remain as they are now he will win in 2014 with “fingers in the nose”.

petofi
Guest

@ Tyrker

Success or not here’s something for you to put in your pipe and smoke: if nothing else,
the jews of the world showed that they could go into the anti-semite’s yard and make him sit up and pay attention, and ‘pay’…if only lip-service; and that the mangy anti-semites will have to perform like the mongrel dogs they are.

Orban fooled nobody. Only the mentally challenged Hungarians of Fidesz thought that ‘we showed them’, like the bull-head with the swastika. What that schmuck doesn’t know is that there were thousands like him in brown shirts in Munich in the early 1930’s before their own Heil Hitler decided that they were expendable. Given Orban’s predilection to repeat history, one can imagine a similar fate for these jobbik ‘bika’…

Zenga
Guest

Orbán wants to become the new Kádár. He simply does not care about Jews (Jewish Hungarians), he is tired caring about them, has more important things to do (such as building stadiums).

FransJ
Guest

Zenga, he already is!

Minusio
Guest

Eva S. Balogh :
Minusio, now that you mention it. Heist is something else. I mean in English:-)

Yes, I know, it’s robbery in English, and it’s really ironic.

But in the SS slogan it was “heißt” (the same as “heisst”, i.e. is named or means or is equal to) and also not spelt with a capital H (unless everything is in capitals).

Some people think that it was copied from the French Foreign Legion („Honneur et Fidélité“). The problem is that nobody can really explain what it is supposed to mean – in either case.

Kirsten
Guest

I would not use petöfi’s words but I do share his opinion that “success” (in humiliating OV) is not really a category that fits when judging the WJC. We have no doubts anymore that OV has captured the hearts and minds of Hungarians by creating a self-serving autocracy. What a brilliant politician. And the enviable living standards, I mean with the utility prices! But others will not be impressed by OV, no matter how much state propaganda will try to sell itself as the pinnacle of civilisation (as the Halaszbastya is declared medieval).
It is the Hungarians who will have to live with his legacy, and I trust you will remember to call it a “complete success” also from hindsight.

How short-sighted can people be if they consider every move of OV the ultimate victory of Hungarians against the world.

Ron
Guest

Minusio :

Eva S. Balogh :
Minusio, now that you mention it. Heist is something else. I mean in English:-)

Yes, I know, it’s robbery in English, and it’s really ironic.
But in the SS slogan it was “heißt” (the same as “heisst”, i.e. is named or means or is equal to) and also not spelt with a capital H (unless everything is in capitals).
Some people think that it was copied from the French Foreign Legion („Honneur et Fidélité“). The problem is that nobody can really explain what it is supposed to mean – in either case.

Some people believe it has something to do with the oath the Waffen SS had to take. In that case Treue should read Adolf Hitler.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meine_Ehre_hei%C3%9Ft_Treue

Minusio
Guest
Kirsten : I would not use petöfi’s words but I do share his opinion that “success” (in humiliating OV) is not really a category that fits when judging the WJC. We have no doubts anymore that OV has captured the hearts and minds of Hungarians by creating a self-serving autocracy. What a brilliant politician. And the enviable living standards, I mean with the utility prices! But others will not be impressed by OV, no matter how much state propaganda will try to sell itself as the pinnacle of civilisation (as the Halaszbastya is declared medieval). It is the Hungarians who will have to live with his legacy, and I trust you will remember to call it a “complete success” also from hindsight. How short-sighted can people be if they consider every move of OV the ultimate victory of Hungarians against the world. Of course, OV was not humiliated. The WJC people are extremely civilised. But the clever move was to give him the opportunity to show his ugly self and his strange way of talking his credibility away in a forum which enjoys the attention of the world media. This will stick. So it is clear that this was a… Read more »
Kiki Novak
Guest

All these Aryan buddies can’t even spell their german tattoos correctly. It’s MEINE EHRE HEISST TREUE with two S and not HEIST.

NWO
Guest

Eva S. Balogh :
Talking about stadium. Here are the plans for the Felcsút “dream stadium” as this newspaper calls it. Felcsút has a population of 1,800 and this stadium will sit 3,500.

Apparently it will be ready by next spring. Naturally, it costs billions. To watch the video takes only a minute.
http://sportgeza.hu/futball/2013/05/09/ilyen_lesz_a_felcsuti_alomstadion/

Just what the world does not need and needless to say Hungary cannot afford, another hugely overpriced football stadium in an irrelevant town done in the awful style and design of Makovecz. not enough is said about the particularly terrible architectural legacy Orban will leave behind. He really is imitating the Communists.

Kirsten
Guest

Minusio, I have not marked it but I had related it to Tyrker and his “definite” success of OV. I do not believe that OV can be threatened by people, groups or institutions from outside alone, so as long as his compatriots, I mean subjects, consider him the definite success, he will govern. But to ask the rest of the world to believe this nonsense too, to consider this an example to follow, or to stop saying that he created fantasy world as demanded by his subjects who wish to dream, is perhaps a bit too much.

Minusio
Guest

@ Kirsten. Agreed.

Member

I accompanied someone to the emergency section of the BEST public hospital recently.

It takes 7 hours before the start of your examination.
(The situation was much better a year ago)

The flyer they distribute says:
“serious case. waiting time 4 hours.
less serious. waiting time 8 hours”

since the patients are not examined for x hours, there is no way to judge
the seriousness…

———-

My question: can Orban & Fidesz be charged in the future for deliberate mass killing for destroying the vestiges of the public health care system? [there is no private health care in Hungary, just a few partial hospitals]

While younger physicians flock to the UK and Scandinavia for salaries 8-10 times the usual rate in Hungary, Fidesz will forcibly retire a lot of doctors over 62 from July.

Why? They did not give a decent argument for their action.

1. To prove that they retire not only the judges but the doctors at 62 too?
2. To eliminate the public health care system completely, but keep the tax paid into it?
3. To kill off old people to reduce the social security expense?

What is your opinion?

Kirsten
Guest

tappanch: “What is your opinion?”

I suggest people start to relate what they experience in the public sphere with the government. Then, they should ponder whether they in actual fact believe that people who govern can do whatever they want and “nothing can be done about it”. If they answer this question to the affirmative, their experience in the hospital is sad but “nothing can be done about it”. If they find out that they would like to change this treatment in the hospital, they will have to get a better government, in current circumstances probably only after mass mobilisation (for instance before the next elections). Given the Hungarian approach to politics, the said person should also inquire itself whether it feels that criticising the government is acting against the proud Hungarian nation. Then, unfortunately, also “nothing can be done about it”. However, if your friend feels that it is quite unpatriotic that people get such care in hospitals, the only way how to improve matters currently is through change in government (and mass mobilisation).

Member

Police Minister:

The Communists were too liberal after 1979.

There is a need for more prisons and inmates must work again (aka GULAG)

The new law is in preparation:

http://index.hu/belfold/2013/05/09/dolgozniuk_kell_majd_az_elitelteknek/

petofi
Guest

Eva S. Balogh :
Just read that three neo-Nazis harassed some of the guests of WJC. They were caught and brought to immediate trial. One got 3 years he will have to serve while the other two got two years of suspended sentence. Amazing! The speed! And the severity of the punishment. Orbán is trying to prove something.
.
Here is the story:
http://www.origo.hu/itthon/20130509-gyorsitott-eljarasban-eliteltek-harom-ferfit-akik-zaklattak-a-vilagkongresszus-resztvevoit.html

I would bet good money that the one who got three years will be out in three months…with a tobacco shop to boot!

Harmati Rita
Guest

You are extremely unfair and your statements are full of half-lies and total lies. Would you please tell me even one example of “The growing number of violent physical incidents ” or “street anti-Semitism” in Hungary, instead of citing all the lies and false accusations against us? There has never been any. Verbal incidents, yes, very rarely. Still, “Hungary is the most antisemitic country in Europe”?! You liars, shame on you. I don’t know why you hate us so much, but i don’t know what YOU would do if we Hungarians criticized you and your country as unfairly and with so much hatred as you do?

petofi
Guest

@Harmati Rita

“..I don’t know why you hate us so much…”

–because you are dumb
–because you are sheep
–because you can’t think
–because you are up to your nostrils in the pure shit of nationalism
–because you can’t see past your nose, and you’ll be crying the blues when the country will be broke and the Fidesz crooks will have split from the country for their country estates in France and Britain

Outside of that, probably nothing wrong with ya–probably dance a nice csardas…

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