What happened in Őcsény shocked people who have been watching with growing concern the Orbán government’s perilous anti-refugee campaign. For some time one could hear anxious comments about the dreadful consequences of the brainwashing that has been taking place in Hungary over the last two and a half years. Some professionals familiar with the repercussions of such mind-changing techniques predict it will take a generation to alter the mindset of the approximately two-thirds of the population that has been heavily affected by Viktor Orbán’s hate campaign.
Of course, this is not the first such incident. I reported on one about a month ago, which was followed by a second one in the same vicinity. In these two cases, the region’s Fidesz member of parliament, instead of calming the situation, inflamed it. The distinguished legislator showed a total ignorance of the law when he advocated restrictions on the free movement of refugees who had already received asylum in Hungary. These two incidents demonstrated that the constant lies with which the population, especially the rural population, is barraged through the government media have resulted in genuinely frightened people.
The first two incidents were, however, nothing in comparison to what happened in Őcsény. In the first cases mostly older women expressed their fears and said all sorts of silly, uninformed things. In Őcsény, on the other hand, there was solid hate. As one of the inhabitants said on a video I saw, 99% of the population of the village shared her hatred. Venom was pouring out of these people’s mouths and physical force was used. Death threats were uttered, tires were slashed, and bricks were thrown. I heard one person justify the use of force as a legitimate defense against the onslaught of migrants. And those who didn’t go that far screamed inarticulately, without listening to the people who tried to calm their fears. They simply didn’t want to hear any of it. The only bright moment was an uneducated Roma with bad grammar who had more understanding of the world than the misled inhabitants of the village.
The events in Őcsény are different from the earlier incidents in another respect. The hatred and violence were directed not only against the refugees but against those who help them. It would be high time for Viktor Orbán to face facts. The seeds of hatred he planted might be politically useful for him, but in the long run it is a devastating strategy. It is a strange election campaign in which everything turns on the largely bogus migration issue. As it stands now, the election will pit Fidesz, which is defending the country in the face of the migrants, against the left-of-center opposition, which, with the help of George Soros, wants to open the floodgates to the immigrants. Utter insanity.
Yes, this is a dreadful situation, but what came today is the greatest shame of all. Viktor Orbán, the prime minister of Hungary, stood by those who threatened to kill the people giving shelter to refugee children. Speaking to reporters ahead of the European Union’s Digital Summit in Tallinn, he said that he sees “nothing wrong with the protest.” Hungarians “don’t want to accept migrants into the country or into their village. They have been so often lied to in migrant affairs that if they are told that they’d be receiving children, their response will be: ‘first children, then parents, then family reunification, and then we’re in trouble.’ It was quite right that they expressed their opinions categorically, loudly, and clearly.”
So, Viktor Orbán approved the actions in that village, actions that are contrary to existing Hungarian laws and as such are punishable offenses. This is how far he is ready to go. Where will all this lead?