Hungary : The Price of Tranquility

Hungary will hold parliamentary elections on April 3, which could put Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in a difficult position. The campaign has been marked by numerous accusations of anti-Semitism against the opponents of the current government. On the other hand, the current government is the main defender of Jews on the European continent. Journalist János Gadó describes the centrality of Jewish issues in contemporary Hungary and how Hungarian Jews are divided in the face of a government that seems to want to trade their protection for a rewriting of the role of Hungarian nationalism in the Holocaust.

 

House of Fates, projet inachevé
“The House of Fates”, Budapest, unfinished memorial project.

 

There is nothing surprising about seeing the nationalist, “illiberal” Orbán government – while preparing for the elections – distributing all kinds of benefits on one hand while sounding the battle alarm wildly on the other.

In the government parlance, the united opposition is not a rival but an enemy to whom – they say – nation, homeland, religion and family are all worthless. Instead, the government argues, the opposition would readily open the gates to foreign values (LGBTQ rights), foreign agents (Soros and big business) and foreign hordes (migrants).

According to László Kövér, the Speaker of the National Assembly and one of the strongmen of the ruling Fidesz party, “the opposition’s policy is openly traitorous” and it is “whining” in Brussels to “punish our country as much as possible”. According to Kövér, “we are one of the last bastions of Christian Europe, together with the Poles, therefore it is no coincidence that all contempt and curses are pouring on us.”

Kövér László in 2010, Dodann, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

But it is more surprising to see (almost) no direct elements of traditional antisemitism in this traditional hatemongering.

If Hungarians hear that “Christianity, homeland, nation and family” are opposed to foreign conquerors and that the opposition is a Trojan horse of the latter, they get ready for an outpouring of anti-Semitic invectives – as was always the case in 20th century Hungary.

In the government’s arch-conservative religious-nationalistic project, however, Jews are officially listed as allies. They are not “liberal, Bolshevik, cosmopolitan” elements as the Hungarian (far) right-wing press used to roar even 10-15 years ago. On the contrary: religious or nationalistic minded Jews, who love their family and their homeland (Israel), are now reliable allies of the government – as opposed to Brussels, to the Hungarian opposition and to Soros behind them, who are all trampling on these finest traditions.

Some pro-government journalists and government officials go so far as to label the opposition, its politicians and supporters unabashedly as “Nazis”, especially by alluding to the fact that the Jobbik party (ex-neo-fascists) is now allied with the left-wing and centrist opposition.[1] The ideological basis for all this can be found in the “Christian conservative” ideology which strongly opposes foreign “ungodly and inhuman” regimes of the 20th century, namely fascism and communism, now personified respectively by Jobbik and the supposedly pro-communist leftists and ecologists.

The government is so confident in representing the Jewish cause that they are the ones who accuse the opposition of anti-Semitism. Their main target is prime ministerial candidate, Péter Márki-Zay whom they kept labeling as an anti-Semite in an ongoing campaign for several weeks. 

Péter Szíjjartó en mars 2015
Péter Szíjjartó, mach 2015, Agencia de Noticias ANDES, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the keynote speakers of this smear campaign was the infamous government journalist Zsolt Bayer, who used the most vitriolic anti-Semitic language ten years ago.[2]

Orbán’s media gurus managed to recruit Israel Hayom for this campaign, an Israeli media outlet close to Netanyahu, which ran an article on January 23 entitled The love affair between the Hungarian left and anti-Semitism.[3]

At the same time, on January 20, 2022, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó defended Israel in a debate in the UN Security Council, saying, Israel is a strategic ally of Hungary, calling on Member States to end their anti-Israel approach. Szijjártó said that Israel has long been threatened by terrorism and has the right to defend its sovereignty and its citizens.”

In other words, the Hungarian government’s policy towards Jews is strongly defined by its opposition to the EU policies.

All this policy is not new, but it has intensified significantly as election day draws closer.

The making of two opposite portraits: Hungary, land of welcome; Western Europe, land of hostility

Hungarian government media consumers are informed that Hungary is an island of tranquility for Jews, while Western Europe is slowly becoming uninhabitable for them. According to this interpretation, a Jew wearing a kipa can barely set foot on the streets of Paris or Berlin, and religious Jewish life is slowly becoming impossible there – due to the ban on kosher slaughtering and circumcision.

The anti-democratic, nationalist, religious rhetoric and grievance politics of Fidesz politicians are reminiscent of the Horthy regime between the two wars. However, they do not subscribe to its anti-Semitism (although they cherish the memory of some anti-Semitic writers of the time). 

Meanwhile knowing that they can be easily criticized in the field of minority rights (Roma, LGBT community), they launch a counterattack accusing the opposition of anti-Semitism as well as racism and homophobia.[4]

A well-known pro-government journalist, László Bernát Veszprémy, called the Hungarian opposition’s prime ministerial candidate, Péter Márki-Zay, an anti-Semite and homophobe in a blog post on the Times of Israel website. The story had been immediately picked up by the Hungarian government press. The Times of Israel staff then deleted the post. (It is still available on another website.)
Veszprémy interpreted the removal of his article as censorship and silencing the criticism of anti-Semitism. He added that he had been personally threatened, and one commenter even posted his address – for which he allegedly filed a complaint. Veszprémy’s alleged ordeal was widely reported in the government media. In an article[5] in the pro-government Mandiner, Veszprémy bitterly complained about what a journalist has to endure today, just for daring to call anti-Semitism by its name.

However, a rabbi of Mazsihisz (Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary – the largest Jewish umbrella body in Hungary) investigated the story on his own blog[6] and found that the facebook user who allegedly published Veszprémy’s address is in fact a fake profile.
So the story of a pro-government journalist bravely fighting anti-Semitism and being silenced by the opposition is by any means suspicious, to say the least.

Péter Márki-Zay en 2018, Draskovics Ádám (www.adamdraskovics.hu), CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Péter Márki-Zay in 2018, Draskovics Ádám (www.adamdraskovics.hu), CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It was the first time that the government media not only accused the opposition of anti-Semitism, but also ran a (poorly fabricated) story about the anti-Semitic persecution of a pro-government journalist.

Meanwhile, Jewish personalities close to the government are diligently trying to make Márki-Zay look anti-Semitic, using every relevant statement he makes.[7] As the elections of the 3rd of April approach, other aspects of Jewishness seem to be relegated to the background in the government media, and accusations of anti-Semitism against the opposition become the dominant theme.

Labeling the opposition as anti-Semitic fits well with the claim (mentioned above) that in Western Europe’s islamist-leftist climate it is getting impossible to live a Jewish life. The message is clear: if the opposition comes to power, similar trends can be expected here.

A context of increasing anti-Semitic prejudice?

Surveys show[8] that the proportion of people in Hungary who hold anti-Semitic prejudices is persistently around 35%. The “big jump” occurred between 2006 and 2012, when the proportion of people identifying with anti-Semitic prejudices jumped from 23% in 2006 to 44% in 2012. It was in 2010 when Viktor Orbán Fidesz party came to power again. During its campaign, the party drew heavily on the tools of the far right. It was then that (then far-right, fascist) Jobbik rose to become a major parliamentary party in 2010. 

Since 2012, the amount of anti-Semitism has not changed significantly; “only” the amount of Holocaust deniers has increased[9]. 

The above data had been confirmed by a ground-breaking study[10] coordinated by András Kovács, and György Fischer, which measured anti-Semitic prejudice in 16 EU countries. Hungary is third out of 16 countries, it only lags behind Greece and Poland.

The survey clearly shows the difference between Western Europe and the former Soviet satellite states. In the latter, the proportion of anti-Semitic prejudice is much higher, with an even higher proportion of people denying or relativizing the Holocaust.[11]  The countries of north-western Europe show “only” high levels of anti-Israel prejudice compared to their own average.[12]

The EU-wide research was commissioned by the Action and Protection Foundation (TEV with its Hungarian acronym). TEV is closely linked to Chabad/EMIH and Slomó Köves.[13] The research was predominantly funded by the Hungarian state. A recurring theme in EMIH and government communications was the high level of anti-Semitic violence in Western Europe and the comparison: in Hungary, Jews have no reason to fear because the level of anti-Semitic violence is negligible. 

The research commissioners probably thought that this should be reflected in the rates of anti-Semitic prejudice as well: since anti-Semitic violence rates are higher in Western Europe, prejudice rates must be higher as well. They wanted to back this up with concrete figures. It would have been a huge media triumph, could they prove with statistics that anti-Semitism is higher in the West, not just on the streets, but also in people’s minds. 

Survey results proving the opposite must have caused a great deal of surprise for the commissioners. This is shown by the interview[14] with Vince Szalay-Bobrovnitzky, government commissioner for civilian issues, which he gave to the author of these lines, qualifying the above-mentioned research. Szalay-Bobrovnitzky says: This… is an opinion poll which, in our opinion, does not reflect reality… It is not credible that Hungary is one of the five most anti-Semitic countries, while (in contrast to the situation in Western Europe) Hungarian Jews are not subjected to atrocities… It is not clear for what reason the Foundation for Action and Protection commissioned such a clearly biased poll, but since András Kovács, whom I respect, is a professor at the Central European University, we could not expect objective results.”

Concerning Chabad/EMIH, they never questioned the credibility of the research, but emphasized instead the lack of anti-Semitic violence in Hungary and the rampant anti-Semitic violence in Western Europe.

András Kovács, CEU History Department
András Kovács, CEU History Department

András Kovács and György Fischer’s survey did not get the reaction it might have deserved for its groundbreaking nature. It had been duly reported in the press, but had not generated feverish interest (what the commissioners of the research probably don’t mind), even though the database covering 16 countries is a goldmine for researchers of anti-Semitic prejudice.

András Kovács evaluates the research in the following terms:
“Prejudice researchers have often demonstrated that there is no direct correlation between prejudice and the frequency of discriminatory or violent acts, with the vast majority of prejudiced people not inclined to use violence against a group they otherwise view with prejudice. Even if there is very strong anti-Semitism in a country, the vast majority of prejudiced people would not commit such acts, and would also condemn them outright. But they might be willing to ‘understand’ the perpetrators”.

The fight against anti-Semitism as a political lever 

What might be the impact of the government’s enemy-seeking, hate-mongering propaganda – while they loudly condemn anti-Semitism – on the target group, namely the Hungarian public?

Orbán’s national conservative revolution launched after 2010 has played on the politics of grievance so dear to Hungarian ears, blaming foreigners (and their Hungarian agents), instead of strengthening democracy, responsibility and introspection. 

In the EU today, Hungary and Poland are the two conceptual counterparts of Western democracy. Much of the origins of today’s irrational grievance politics can be traced back to real grievances of the past. In the case of Hungary, this is the 1920 Treaty of Trianon, which deprived the country of two-thirds of its territory. In the case of Poland, the root cause is the Stalin-Hitler pact that ended the country’s existence. Nationalists of both nations view world politics through the lens of these (very real) grievances.

As a result, the two peoples essentially see themselves as heroes and victims – despite their often active role in the the Holocaust. This vision is crucial in the way these two peoples try to come to terms with what happened during the Holocaust.

As I wrote in my previous article in K. magazine:
“In this part of Europe, the grievances of the nations are too deep to forget, and the crimes committed by these same nations are too grave to be confronted with.”

Government propaganda certainly does not claim that Jews are behind the foreign interests plotting against Hungarians. However, if the government constantly envisages persecution and enemies, people will look for tangible enemies, i.e. they will try to impersonate the enemy. In the last 120 years in Hungary, the group most often portrayed as enemies has been the Jews. For many decades, the opposite of the concepts of ‘Hungarian’, ‘national’, ‘Christian’ was precisely the ‘Jew’. There is a good chance, therefore, that believers in government propaganda will see the Jews if they hear about an ‘enemy’ in the service of foreigners (George Soros) and who does not believe in God, country and family.

Viktor Orbán in 2014, Copyright holder: David Plas photographer (based on EXIF)

Meanwhile it should be noted, paradoxically, that the Orbán regime, which has curtailed democracy, has brought almost the entire right-wing press into line – with the result that the anti-Semitism – previously rampant in the right-wing media – has been virtually silenced. 

A strategy challenged by the history of the Holocaust in Hungary

The government expects loyalty from the Jewish community in return for all this protection and benefits.

It expects the Jewish denominations to embrace religious conservatism and, alongside the Christian churches, to help win the support of influential Jewish circles in the West and through them the goodwill of mainstream conservative circles in the West.

The leader of Chabad/EMIH, Slomó Köves, had delivered in this regard. The media outlets controlled by Köves are labeled by many as the pro-government Jewish press.[15]

The more cautious leadership of Mazsihisz also sought cooperation: it accepted generous financial support from the government, and as a sign of appreciation of the almost complete absence of anti-Semitic violence, created an exhibition entitled “House of Coexistence”, which shows visitors the better side of Hungarian-Jewish coexistence.

La synagogue de la rue Rumbach à Budapest, Michal Huniewicz, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
The Rumbach Street synagogue in Budapest where the “House of Coexistence” is located, Michal Huniewicz, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There was only one issue on which the Mazsihisz leadership could not budge: the issue of Holocaust remembrance. There is nothing on which Hungarian Jews are more united than in rejecting the government’s narrative on Hungarian responsibility. If it conceded on this issue, Mazsihisz would lose face before the vast majority of Hungarian Jews.

Here, the relationship between the Mazsihisz and the government reached a deadlock: only Jews can give the nation the “kosher stamp” that absolves the latter of the responsibility for the crimes committed during the Holocaust. This absolution, without deeply and honestly facing the past, is key to preserving national self-esteem. 

This self-esteem, or more precisely, the semblance of innocence, is desperately needed by nationalists, which is why they have started the cult of the saviors: the disproportionate emphasis on the deeds of their nationals who saved Jews during the Shoah.

What narrative of the Shoah?

It is the House of Fates that should have played the role of giving the ultimate kosher stamp to the Hungarian government. This is the museum / memorial which is supposed to tell the story of the Holocaust – according to the government’s visions.

The government started to plan this institution on its own – on a disused former railway station – but was compelled to abandon due to the Jewish community’s opposition.[16] 

In my previous article for K, I summarized the history of the House of Fates so far. The hastily concocted scenario of the government’s semi-official historian, Mária Schmidt, was greeted with a clear rejection in 2016, both by the Mazsihisz, Holocaust historians and left-wing liberal opinion formers. Therefore, the museum never opened its doors. In 2018, the government brought the loyal Rabbi Slomó Köves (Chabad-EMIH) into the project. However, Köves’ sketches were not better received, after which he decided to continue the project with the complete exclusion of the public. First, he scheduled the opening for 2019, which didn’t happen, then for 2022. 

In November 2021, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency leaked that the opening was expected in 2024. According to the article, a 400-page detailed scenario has already been prepared, which JTA’s author had a chance to look into(?)over and found very promising. But it also turned out that the project still does not have the support of Mazsihisz, the Hungarian Holocaust historians and left-wing opinion makers. Without which, the exhibition may be opened, but it will then probably suffer the same fate as the government’s “Memorial to the Victims of the German Occupation”.  The memorial, which depicted Hungarians as victims of the Nazis, provoked strong protests from the Jewish community, failed to create a national consensus and instead became a monument to the government’s failure.

Köves keeps the completed script secret, and he has no intention of releasing it for a public professional discussion, since he is afraid of the fierce criticism of Mazsihisz, the Holocaust historians, and the Hungarian Jewish public. He is trying to find partners at home, but so far it seems that he has not found any, outside the circles of the governing party.

Government influence through faith-based organizations

As I wrote in my previous article for K: “Mazsihisz (is) a religious federation whose forerunner had been established in 1867. This body which was the representative of Hungarian Jews during the anti-Semitic legislation (1938-1944) and communist oppression (1949-1989) had been heavily battered by the storms of history. It is divided by infighting and has a hard time resisting outside pressure.”

Furthermore, the terrible experiences of the 20th century have sharply raised the question: is it even worth being Jewish here? This question is particularly pertinent to ask regarding the community’s leaders before 1989, who tried to cooperate to the utmost with the two totalitarian regimes. The shadows of the past still haunt the Hungarian Jews and their representative body: a climate of resentment, mistrust and conflict pervades Mazsihisz.

Based on these tensions a largely anonymous internal opposition launched a smear campaign trying to bring down president András Heisler (or at least to provoke a split in the organization.) The mostly anonymous (still identifiable) opposition was organized behind an anonymous website called Smúzoló (Schmoozing) and strongly supported by the government and EMIH. 

The government and Chabad/EMIH presumably hoped that by replacing the chairman, the whole organization would be reprogrammed in one fell swoop.

Smúzoló smeared and slandered Heisler and his loyalists in the most offensive and earthly manner. Its anonymous and unproven accusations were picked up[17] by the government press and the Chabad/EMIH media. The short-lived website (since removed from the internet) was one of the low points in the history of the 180-year-old Hungarian Jewish press.

At one point, the prime minister himself spoke out  [18] against Heisler for his alleged support of the coalition of opposition parties, which contains the formerly extreme right-wing Jobbik. In fact, Jobbik failed to adequately condemn Jobbik MP candidate László Biró for some previous anti-Semitic remarks. (Bíró was running in an important by-election, where Fidesz risked losing its two-thirds majority in parliament.)

At the same time, the instigator of the anti-Heisler revolt, rabbi Tamás Róna launched a new organization, which the government immediately and spectacularly subsidized with 50 million forints (approximately 160.000 USD) a year.

It was by this time, that Slomó Köves (more precisely, one of his proxies) filed a complaint against Mazsihisz at the Jerusalem rabbinate, requesting the redistribution of the state perpetual annuity to Hungarian Jewish denominations. 

The Mazsihisz constituency had therefore been made to understand in every possible way that the government expects Heisler to be removed. This would have been an essential condition for making Mazsihisz more manageable.

That none of this came to anything can be explained by the fact that the majority of the Mazsihisz’ membership was united by the profound dislike of the authoritarian nationalist government. In consequence, they were able to overcome their internal divisions.

After six months, the smear campaign had been called off. Mazsihisz leadership took no sanctions against its participants, although several of them had been caught red handed. 

Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) must have played a crucial role in establishing more peaceful relations. Lauder has a good relationship with András Heisler who is vice-president of the World Jewish Congress. Lauder also has a working relationship with Viktor Orbán. The last time Lauder showed up publicly in Hungary was in June 2021 at the inauguration of the House of Coexistence. It was then that the outlines of a deal must have been finalized: WJC would not criticize the Orbán government and would persuade the Mazsihisz leadership to adopt a more cautious political stance. In exchange, the government would cease its campaign against Mazsihisz. This deal seems to be working. 

That left András Heisler, the key figure of the opponents of the House of Fates in his position. Government and Mazsihisz officials mutually pretend never having any animosity between them. Mazsihisz leaders and their internal opponents do the same.

A mixed record

Thus, Viktor Orbán’s ambitious concept of a neo-Horthy regime with a Jewish backing has remained unfinished. 

Orbán’s grand project was to try – in the name of a conservative, national religious ideology – to make like-minded Jews his allies worldwide. He has won Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu (and his ultra-Orthodox partners) and has built at least some sort of partnership with the most important organization of Diaspora Jewry, the World Jewish Congress. Slomó Köves and his Chabad/EMIH organization were instrumental in promoting Orbán’s cause among the orthodox Jewry worldwide. 

Only the bulk of the Hungarian Jews remained deeply estranged. As I put it in my previous essay, “The true religion of most Hungarian Jews is anti-fascism, anti-racism, minority rights, the admiration of Hungarian culture and Hungarian liberal traditions, the disgust with anti-Semitism and – overall – the memory of the Holocaust.” All this remains absolutely incompatible with a neo-Horthy regime. Horthy’s regime was the antechamber of the Holocaust – that’s how most Hungarian Jews see this chapter of history. 

Slomó Köves, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the Orbán government’s interpretation, the cosmopolitan, multicultural, minority-protecting West has failed to bring Jews the peace, acceptance and integration they crave for. On the contrary, it has only brought a new type of anti-Semitism, where the Jewish state is branded in the name of these very same rights. Hungarians however, who care about religion and homeland understand Jews who are concerned about their homeland and faith, and the Hungarian government stands firmly by them. It supports Jewish religious practice and stands with the State of Israel in international politics.

At the price, of course, of Jews being partners in maintaining Hungarian self-esteem. In other words, Hungarian nationalists would like to see a Holocaust narrative in which Hungarians “do not lose face”, in which they don’t have to face the fact the full extent of Hungarian collaboration.

But this can only be done by gross distortion, because the Holocaust, apart from turning much of Europe into the graveyard of the Jewish people, also became a graveyard for the proud self esteem of the European nations. Hungary has never really faced its past, contrary to the majority of (West)European countries. Whereas, contrary to Poland, historians in Hungary are free to research and write about the period, even though the Hungarian government has also created its own network of research institutes, under the name of ‘Veritas Institute’ being one of those. The Orbán government and its nationalist supporters still live in a parallel world, in which Hungarians can be proud of “their history of one thousand years” perceived as a continuity and as morally impeccable. They can maintain this illusion, since despite the highly developed academic scholarship on the Holocaust, the public sphere has been divided into two, non-communicating parts. The governmental part simply silences these historical insights, and promotes only its own narrative. 

The majority of Hungarian Jews and their acknowledged leader, András Heisler, are not partners in maintaining the fiction of the spotless nation. Despite all his loyalty, Heisler does not give ground on this issue – even if he tries to avoid conflict.

It has come this far since 2010 – and the government is now focusing all its energy on the 3d of April elections.

As the elections approach, the Orbán regime is once again trying to turn its strategic alliance with Jews into political gain: it is looking hard for credible Jewish figures who are willing to label the opposition as anti-Semitic. In a fierce electoral battle, any small victory could be a game changer.

But once again, the majority of Mazsihisz leadership is not a partner in this. In their cautious statement on the 20th of January, they made it clear that they “did not wish to interfere in party political issues during the election campaign”.

The media controlled by Slomó Köves and Chabad/EMIH, however, is loyal to the government: it has picked up and spread the baseless accusation that opposition leader Márki-Zay “is registering who is Jewish and who is not Jewish among the ruling party”.

*

I finished the article above in mid-February, and since then there have been some important developments from a Jewish perspective. 

Slomó Köves wrote an open letter in the German newspaper Jüdische Rundschau to the Social Democratic German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. In it, Köves repeated the accusations of anti-Semitism hurled at the opposition by the Hungarian government media and warned – in the name of Hungarian Jews – the Chancellor against unilaterally supporting the Hungarian opposition. 

“Even if the German governing coalition is sometimes critical of the current Hungarian government – Köves wrote – it should not give a free pass for antisemitism in the ranks of an alliance that wants to form the next Hungarian government after the elections. To me, consistency means fighting all forms of antisemitism, not just those coming from the ranks of our political opponents.”

Russia’s attack on Ukraine has overshadowed all other issues in the public sphere. The governing party’s main propaganda line is that Hungary should stay out of this dangerous conflict, while accusing the opposition of dragging Hungary into the war by offering weapons and soldiers to Ukraine. At the same time, it is common knowledge that Orban is an ally of Putin, the only one in the EU. (Opposition leader Márki-Zay expressed his readiness to fully cooperate with the EU and NATO in this regard.) 

Since the outbreak of the war, Hungary and Poland have grown far apart. Poland is spearheading EU and NATO-efforts to support the Ukrainians, while the Orbán government is doing its utmost to keep an equal distance between the aggressor and the aggressed, while his controlled media is constantly putting out Russian propaganda points. 

At the same time, the Hungarian border is open to refugees from Ukraine, and the government press never tires of presenting the Christian love of the Hungarian people toward the refugees (especially for ethnic Hungarians of the Subcarpathian region). Jewish organizations are also doing their part in this effort – offering their help to Jews and non-Jews alike. 

19 of March 2022.


János Gadó

János Gadó, sociologist, essayist, editor of “Szombat”, a Hungarian Jewish Magazine on culture, history, society and politics.

 

Notes

1 Szilárd Németh, state secretary of defense compared the new German government to the Nazis, with Hungary resisting to the „new empire”. Szilárd Demeter, commissioner for cultural affairs opined in a pro government media outlet that „Europe is the gas chamber of George Soros”.
2 Bayer Zsolt: Ugyanaz a bűz (The same Stench Again) In: Magyar Hírlap, January 4, 2011. (The website since had been deleted) Bayer lamented, that „Cohen, and Cohn-Bendit and Schiff” „could not all be dug in the earth until their neck in the forest of Orgovány”. (The village of Orgovány was the site of white terror in 1919, following a short lived communist rule.)
3 An article of the same vein appeared on the Arutz 7 website this February.
4 As of writing this, the National Association of Deaf and Hard of Hearing demands an apology of Márki-Zay for allegedly having insulted them.
5 „First they deleted my article criticizing Mark-Zay, now they are threatening my family”
6 Zoltán Radnóti: Lamb or wolf? Who is Zsolt Roth actually?
7 Péter Márki Zay made a remark in his speech on 9 January 2022, available on fb: “There are some Jews in the government, though very few”, but he “appreciates them for admitting their Jewish origin in Zsolt Bayer’s party.”  Jewish personalities and journalists close to the government interpreted this somewhat flippant remark – completely falsely – as a “listing” of Jewish politicians in the government.  They paralleled it with the infamous speech of Jobbik MP Márton Gyöngyösi, who in 2012 in Parliament proposed the listing of opposition members of Jewish origin “for reasons of national security”.
8 According to the last survey, conducted in 2019, „20 percent of the Hungarian society is strongly anti-Semitic, with an additional 16 percent of moderate anti-Semites”. (Eszter Galgóczi, Endre Hann, Dániel Róna: Antisemitism report 2019-2020). Produced on behalf of the MAZSIHISZ, 2021.
9 Galgóczi, Hann, Róna, 2021 p. 80.
10 (András Kovács and György Fischer: Antisemitic prejudices in Europe; Survey in 16 European Countries; Budapest 2021; Action and Protection League)
11 See Kovács-Fischer p. 47.
12 See Kovács-Fischer p. 54.
13 Regarding rabbi Slomó Köves and his EMIH denomination,  see my previous article in K.
14 „It is not credible that Hungary is one of the five most anti-Semitic countries”
15 Although Slomó Köves reserved the right to publicly criticize the statements of government politicians he considered unacceptable. For example, he publicly blamed on the websites he controls the government decision to entrust the ideologist Mihály Takaró, an anti-Semitic Horthy fan, with the task of making the National Curriculum more “patriotic”.
16 https://www.cultures-of-history.uni-jena.de/debates/the-splendour-and-the-misery-of-the-house-of-fates?type=9999
17 „András Heisler, Mazsihisz chairman would disown Holocaust survivors” Magyar Nemzet, 2020.10.12.
18 „The Prime Minister holds András Heisler responsible for the case of Bíró, who called Budapest Judapest.”

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