András Heisler’s speech in the presence of Prime Ministers Netanyahu and Orbán

Your Excellencies, Lord Mayor of Budapest, Chief Rabbi of Hungary, Rabbis, Honored Guests!

Today may be the first time in the history of the Hungarian Jewry that our community can host two prime ministers at the same time. We can say it is a Historic Event. And this historic event takes place at a historic site, here, in Goldmark Hall. Due to the Jewish laws of the Horthy era Goldmark Hall was the one and only place where Jewish actors were allowed to perform between 1939 and 1944.

In my welcoming speech, I will talk about the strongest bridge between two geographically distant countries, the connecting role of the Hungarian Jewry. Our past and our future connect us, as our love of Hungary and of Israel connects us. We have our history represented in this room today: here sit among us well respected members of our community who were victims of the indescribable boundless, murderous hatred. They will listen with us to the words of the prime ministers of Hungary and of the Jewish State.

Mr. Prime Ministers, my 92-year-old mother, who came back from Auschwitz, is sitting right behind you. And here is the future generation also, those who regularly visit Israel and who work or study there at the universities. They are the ones who will further develop the connection between the two countries. Our survivors and our youth are our bridges between times and lands.

Hungary, the birthplace of Herzl, is Israel’s reliable partner. Hungary was the first in Europe to stand up against the boycott aimed at endangering Israel’s economic development by refusing to label products arriving from the disputed territories. The Hungarian government–complying with our request–made it clear that fundamental practices of our religion, like the right to perform circumcision and kosher slaughtering, are part of our “freedom of religion” while some countries of the European Union are questioning these practices. Our co-operation in the field of education is also successful. And based on the meetings yesterday, cultural and economic cooperation are perfect as well. And at our last meeting of the “Jewish Community Roundtable” I asked that Hungary recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the city that all three monotheistic religions make their home. We hope…

From left to right: Viktor Orbán, Benjamin Netanyahu, and András Heisler. In the background: Anikó Lévai, Orbán’s wife

The largest Jewish community of Central Europe has always helped and will always nurture the friendship between Hungary and Israel. Hungarian-Israeli relations are indeed good, although there are some disturbing phenomena which I would like to address honestly. Hungarian governments have been ambiguous about the role Hungary played in the Holocaust, and the responsibility of the government and governor of the time. Seventy-two years after World War II the restitution of the Jews has still not been fully completed. While the healing of the legal injuries of the churches remains unsolved, that would help restore the independence of the churches.

It has been possible to launch a total propaganda campaign in Hungary whose language and visual tools revived in our minds the bad memories of the past. One can argue about the intent of the campaign, but one thing became unacceptable to me: the Jews of Hungary began to live in fear. And a responsible Jewish leader cannot keep silent about that. Neither can a responsible head of government. We are pleased to know that the Hungarian government wants to protect us as Hungarian citizens, but the most effective defense we see is a Hungarian society without hatred. I ask the Prime Minister of Hungary to help Hungary become a society where the real power is the mutual respect of each other’s values.

Honorable Prime Ministers! Dear Guests! We want to be proud Hungarian Jews in a country where the tag ‘stinking Jew’ cannot appear on anyone’s image. The majority of Hungarian Jews want to continue to live here, here in the embrace of the Carpathians, but without fear! Our history, our culture, our most beloved Hungarian language binds us here.

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu! It is painful for our community when Israel attempts to narrow the religious recognition of the diaspora. Our community survived the Holocaust, remained faithful to its roots through the repressive communist regime, and we are not recognized as Jews? Can you disregard all the conversions, brit-milahs, weddings, rabbinical decisions taking place in our absolute neolog-majority communities? We, who are labelled as ‘stinking Jews’ in Europe, we, who support Israel’s efforts, we, who dream about Israel, why aren’t we good enough Jews any more for Israel?

Also the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry’s evaluation of the recent poster campaign was like a cold shower for our community. After the support of the Israeli Ambassador, this declaration of the Foreign Ministry caused sorrow in our community. Many felt that we had been abandoned. And we are not talking about the past now, but about the future of our community. About the hope that we have for our future, about the respect of the Jewish community that is catalyzing the relationship of the two countries. Prime Minister Netanyahu, I respectfully ask you to foster greater respect for the diaspora. Only a strong diaspora is able to help Israel, and we, Hungarian Jews, want to help.

Mr. Prime Ministers! We want to live as proud Jews and consider ourselves as responsible Hungarian citizens! We cannot keep silent when, due to daily political interests, our values are overridden. We Hungarian Jews do support Israel. We Hungarian Jews help the Hungarian government in all its endeavors that concur with our values. We supported Hungary’s presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance; we defended the government when an international Jewish organization baselessly attacked it; we work happily in society-building projects; and we are working nationwide for social cohesion. We think that the “little help” the Hungarian Prime Minister was asking for has always been given, and we wish to do the same in the future.

Mr. Prime Ministers! The 140-year-old Rabbinical Seminary – Jewish University was the institution that trained our rabbis and the ones of the Visegrád countries for decades, even during the Communist regime. It is in our common interest to develop this special institution into a regional educational center where the Hungarian and the Israeli academic world can create values together. Our most important task is the preservation of our traditions, education, training, and creating values. Seemingly everything is all right. Many people talk about a Jewish renaissance. In fact, we struggle not against the government, not against migration, not against the anti-Semites, but against assimilation. The question is in the long-run whether our children or grandchildren will live as Jews. We aspire for a positive Jewish communal self-image, part of which is Jewish consciousness and a strong Israel. We are convinced that it is in the basic interest of both Hungary and State of Israel not to divide the Hungarian Jewry of the Diaspora, not to alienate it but to help build our communities in order to continue living and to pass on our ancestors’ Hungarian and Jewish traditions. We have to continue building a bridge between our countries! And when we face obstacles on that bridge, it is our mutual responsibility, Mr. Prime Ministers, to resolve them with attentiveness, through dialogue and rationality, honestly revealing real reasons, and not by sweeping them under the rug.

Honorable Prime Ministers! I am asking your and the Almighty’s help to accomplish this.

July 20, 2017
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
old 1956
Guest

Better not to imitate cooperation with the Orban regime.
Netanyahu should distance himself from this regime when all the facts will be evaluated.

exTor
Guest

comment image

Miklós Horthy was tellingly plunged immediately into the speech of András Heisler, who invoked wartime restrictions by stating that Jewish actors were only allowed to perform in Goldmark Hall “due to Jewish laws”.

It should have been clear to Orbán Hitler that here in Hungary, as in the land of Adolf Hitler, Jews were singled out for special treatment merely for being Jews. Perhaps it would finally dawn on Orbán that Horthy should not be officially recognized anywhere in Hungary, let alone in Budapest.

András Heisler capped his Horthy/Hitler point by stating that his mother, 92, a survivor of Auschwitz, sat immediately behind Netanyahu and Orbán. Even the most idiotic Magyar racist would not miss that symbolism.

András Heisler finished his speech by stressing the desire for Magyar Jews not to be compelled to assimilate into Magyarország, that they should not be made “to divide the Hungarian Jewry of the Diaspora” against itself.

The distinct message is that anybody –Jews, Roma, Syrian refugees– can be Magyars. Those who choose to live here willingly are the true Hungarians.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Melanie Zuben
Guest

ExTor – “The distinct message is that anybody –Jews, Roma, Syrian refugees– can be Magyars. Those who choose to live here willingly are the true Hungarians.”

Before you finish subdividing the country, how about asking the Hungarians first? The choice should be theirs. They should decide “willingly” (not forcibly) who are the “true Hungarians”.
As long as this “us and them” mentality is being pushed and twisted by the media and some of the professional provocateurs, the ongoing division between the Hungarian people (Jews and non-Jews) will continue.
Wake up Magyars!

Guest

So are you telling us that “them” Roma, Jews etc (me included propbably …) are not “Tiszta Magyar”?

You’re kind of funny in your “ongoing division” way – I wanted to use a stronger word but refrained from doing it …

Ferenc
Guest

“this “us and them” mentality is being pushed and twisted by the media and some of the professional provocateurs”
Hey Melanie, you’re spot on, if you mean by this Orban, Fidesz&Co and their media; the public/state, managed by them, and the dirty, organized by them.

exTor
Guest

comment image

Never mind “Wake up Magyars!”, Melanie, you are the one asleep at the wheel. You talk about an ‘us and them’ mentality, which you blame on outsiders, namely those possessing mindsets that are not requisitely ‘proHungarian’, however you dont mention Orbán Hitler, that provocateur-in-chief, that orchestrator of antirefugee hate, that blight on Hungary.

I dont suggest opening the country to a refugee flood, however Hungary can easily handle 500 refugees. The point is not to build up animosities apriori, which has been the province of Fidesz. The point is to not hate.

Unfortunately for you, Ms. Zuben, your mindset is a blindset. You are so wrapped around Orbán’s pinkie that you cant see straight. Canada recently accepted many thousands of Syrian refugees. There was no prearrival plebiscite as to whether it should happen. Canada accepts refugees. Period. All were vetted, all (like all other ethnicities) will become fine Canadians.

BTW, if you dont recognize the person on the left, he is the prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, welcoming the initial influx of Syrian refugees in Toronto. Can you imagine Donald Trump welcoming Syrians to the US? Can you imagine Orbán Hitler welcoming Syrian refugees to Hungary?

comment image

MAGYARKOZÓ

Melanie Zuben
Guest

Re: “Meet the dogs of Amazon” (click on my name, “Meet the dogs of Amazon”).
I was going to report you to Amazon for stealing their logo for the purpose of abuse, etc. but when you look at the link I provide, I quickly changed my mind. However, I took a photo of it, for possible future reference.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/soros-places-big-bet-on-snap-dumps-amazon-stake-2017-05-15

Re: refugees
It should be up to the Hungarian Government and the Hungarian people to decide if they want to allow Syrian refugees to settle in Hungary or not. (How about providing useful information on how this mess-migration could benefit the future of Hungary?) As a human being and a migrant myself, my heart bleeds for these poor, uprooted people. BUT, I don’t believe (and I’m not the only one) that resettling millions of refugees all over Europe and the world is the right solution to their problems.
War in Syria should be stopped/solved and and their country should be rebuilt.
Here is my next book title: “Woman Destroyed” (I might have to find another publisher for “cats”!)

Guest

You’re unbelievable – a “nice” deterrent example …
Back to advertising your cr*p here?
You’re latefor that!

Your inhuman position on refugees – is that a typical Tiszta Magyar trait?

So all these countries made a big mistake accepting refugees like you!
F*ck off at last!

Melanie Zuben
Guest

Just for the record:
My URL was changed by somebody. The last three letters are missing (Z48). If someone clicks on my name, they are re-directed to a so-called “Amazon” site, with a following message: “Meet the dogs of Amazon”. Last night when I’ve noticed this the first time, Jeffrey Archer was on the top of the “search” list, when I clicked on “search”. (We all know that Archer is not exactly a Nobel Prize for Literature material, (and neither am I, but that’s another matter), however, we all know that he had sold more of his books than some of the Nobel Prize winners.)
You might think that this is funny, but I’m not laughing! (Photos taken of this for future reference)

Also, please note that I’m the ONLY person on this blog who provides alternative comments. So far the commentators here have destroyed (viciously and maliciously I might add) the credibility of every single person who dared to have a different view
re: Hungarian issues.

Guest

Getting paranoid? Why would anyone from HS “follow” you?
Maybe you should advertise your cr*p pn breitbart or other “alternative facts” sites – I’msure they’d welcome you!

exTor
Guest
Your thought processes are ongoing sources of bemusements, Ms. Zuben. I have no idea about your ‘Meet the dogs of Amazon’ reference, however I did give the Soros link a looksee. So what. I’m not interested in capitalists. “As a human being and a migrant myself, my heart bleeds for these poor uprooted people.” Now that you’ve established your moral bonafides, you should reflect on the reality that you and other Hungarians (as well as different ethnicities) were allowed entry to Australia without recourse to popular voting. You say “the Hungarian government and the Hungarian people [should] decide” on allowing “Syrian refugees to settle in Hungary”, yet you know full well that in Orbánistan the people have been poisoned by unrelenting pernicious Fidesz propaganda. The populace has been conditioned to be afraid of refugees. Hungary’s population is now below 10 million and falling still. Hungarians continue to vote with their feet, relocating primarily to Western Europe. It is without doubt that Hungary needs more bodies. The Fidesz attempt to lure back [visszacsábítani] Magyars to their homeland was a bust. You have never addressed the racism of Orbán’s antirefugee campaign; you have never addressed the antisemitism of Orbán’s antiSoros campaign, Melanie… Read more »
petofi
Guest

There will be slim pickins under the christmas tree this year for the Heisler kids…

aida
Guest

Maybe Rabbi Heisler does not celebrate Christmas. But Hanukkah will do.

Guest

We’re neither Christians, nor Jews nor Muslims or *** you name it *** – any “god” is a foreign or even laughable concept to us, but our little ones (grandchildren etc) still get Xmas presents like all their friends and neighbours!
It would be silly to discriminate against them …

I’m so happy that at over 60 years I found a woman in Hungary who shares my (dis)beliefs!

Member

Well, I bet the fascist thug wasn`t expecting that.
And I bet the evil man is already plotting his revenge.

OT somewhat, he looks like a Chicago Pimp circa 1930 in that ridiculous hat…quite appropriate.

petofi
Guest

@ D7Democrat

I would have to agree about the revenge part. The jews of Budapest must be cringing. Fact is, jews are expected to lie low; rarely be see; and mostly, be unheard. Piping up like Heisler did will ruffle the feathers of the conservative land owners, the Christian ubermencsh, and the Catholic hierarchy who, among themselves, will maintain that too many jews still live in the country.

(And I was planning to visit the grave of my grandmother, too.
With all the overturned stones, I probably won’t find it…)

Gretchen
Guest

Last year I went to visit the old Jewish graveyard in a village. Previously, I could see it through the wire fence. Now it was surrounded by a solid and ugly barrier with a padlock on the door. A message in Hebrew perhaps told how to gain admission. I was told that a Jewish organization had done this. To my knowledge this cemetery had never been desecrated. But someone was making sure it could not happen. I cannot fault the impulse, but am sad for the visual loss.

wrfree
Guest

Re: OT…’Chicago pimp circa 1930′

Reminds me of the new White House communications fellow. That guy Scaramucci looks as if he’s out of a ‘Goodfellas’ flick…😎..

wrfree
Guest

Andras Heisler wishes cooperation. Howver if one takes the final sentences of the VO speech he appears as projecting ‘fight’ and a strong ‘iron law’. Cooperation? It depends.

When it comes to laws , Heisler perhaps should be aware in his fears that past experience has shown laws in the country are about as hard as ‘vizes teszta’ if the opportunity presents itself.

Member
old1956
Guest

Pity that such a noble guy like Soros, has not understood the historical success and neccessity of Israel.

Guest

Thanks for that, Stevan!

This shows what really honest people are thinking about Soros.

PS:
The list of members of the Academy is really impressive. I’m using this to show people what’s going on in today’s world.

Member

comment image

Truth
Guest

No Jew should normalize anti-Semitism, whether as a leader of any other country or as a recipient of an award. The nationalism we see in Hungary and Poland is an existential threat to Jews, Roma and to historical truth – and humane values. These leaders serve the same god – and it’s a green one.

wpDiscuz