Gábor Vona’s interview on ATV: I am willing to apologize for Jobbik’s unacceptable statements

For years, as a matter of principle, Hungary’s left-leaning ATV news network didn’t allow the far-right Jobbik’s politicians into its studios. All of that changed just over a year ago and now party chairman Gábor Vona and other prominent Jobbik politicians are regular guests. Fortunately, most of ATV’s hosts are skilled, shrewd journalists and they are able to scratch below Jobbik’s new, “improved” and more moderate surface, in order to help viewers determine if the party best known for its virulent antisemitism and racism against the Roma minority has truly changed. On Sunday, Antónia Mészáros started off her interview with Mr. Vona by calling into question the authenticity of Jobbik’s moderate turn. She pointed out that the extremist website Kuruc.info was listed as one of the sponsors of Jobbik’s May Day celebrations and that recently, the news site had celebrated Adolf Hitler’s birthday.

“We’re not the editors of Kuruc.info, or rather: I am not the editor of Kuruc.info,” remarked Mr. Vona. Perhaps this was a little slip, because it has long been assumed that key Jobbik politicians–notably, Előd Novák–are behind the publication. “And I have noted many times that things appear in Kuruc.info with which I don’t agree and with which I can’t identify,” added Mr. Vona. Ms. Mészáros proded the Jobbik leader a little further, pointing out that Kuruc.info is advertising Mr. Vona’s book on its cover page and the site also publicizes Jobbik events. Mr. Vona said that he would consider ending his party’s relationship with Kuruc.info, as part of his drive to moderate its image and message, although he quickly added that this wasn’t his priority.

Gábor Vona (right) appearing with journalist Antónia Mészáros on ATV.

Gábor Vona (right) appearing with journalist Antónia Mészáros on ATV.

“Our goal is to win the 2018 parliamentary elections. Thank God, our victory in the Tapolca by-election has justified our strategy of turning into a people’s party,” said Mr. Vona. But after receiving a follow-up question from the journalist — who mentioned that Jobbik politician Előd Novák had effectively engaged in Holocaust denial–Mr. Vona noted that he didn’t think banning people from the party was the answer. “We need to address the situation instead. I have declared that I am going to exterminate these wild growths from the party. These actions have no place in a people’s party,” noted the Jobbik chairman.

According to Mr. Vona, Hungary has only two “twenty-first century parties.” These happen to be Jobbik and the Politics Can Be Different (LMP) green party. Interestingly, András Schiffer, LMP’s chairman, was waiting outside the studio, as Ms. Mészáros was about to interview him right after finishing with Mr. Vona. The Jobbik chair believes that Fidesz and the opposition Socialists are constantly re-living the twentieth century, and this is causing hurt and pain to various communities.

Ms. Mészáros, however, didn’t leave it at this. She noted that very recently, Mr. Novák referred to the living, grassroots Holocaust memorial in Freedom Square (Szabadság tér) as a “garbage dump” and added that he is critical of Mr. Vona’s move to the centre. The party chairman admitted that there “debates” within the party, but that this is normal. Mr. Vona added that Jobbik had no intention of dividing Hungarians along religious or ethnic lines.

“There are no conflicts within the party, but there are debates. I always welcome these debates. I see myself as an innovative person, and I would like to see our party make use of new opportunities and progress with the times,” he noted. Mr. Vona added that he wants to focus on bread and butter issues, like education and health care.

Ms. Mészáros questioned the honesty of Jobbik’s move towards the more moderate right. She suggested, quoting a Jobbik politician, that all of this was little more than theatre and that racism remained strong below the surface.

“I am willing to apologize for previous Jobbik statements. Other parties would also have plenty of reason to issue apologies to various demographic groups,” said Mr. Vona, but Ms. Mészáros cut him off, asking if this meant that people in Jobbik would no longer claim that Gypsies were “biological weapons” used by Jews, and that Holocaust denial would no longer be accepted.

“I wish that the media would finally welcome what I’m trying to achieve here,” added Mr. Vona in frustration.

Ms. Mészáros noted that rabid antisemitism is apparent at Jobbik events and on its Facebook page, with an activist only a few days ago commenting that he only likes to see Jews “in the form of smoke.”

“I’m sorry, I apologize and I distance myself from these comments. But let’s finally discuss more intelligent issues,” answered the increasingly flustered Jobbik chairman.

This most recent interview with Mr. Vona suggests that ATV made the right decision when it ended its boycott of Jobbik. Unlike most television stations in Hungary, its reporters and hosts come prepared with quotes, facts and documents, and can put even the much matured Mr. Vona in the hot seat.

26 Comments

  1. I wonder what “principle” it was that led ATV to ban Jobbik speakers from its studios.

    Thought control?

    • Christopher Adam says:

      Jett Rucker,

      I see that you are affiliated with a website that is engaged in Holocaust denial, although you refer to this denial as being “open debate.” I also see that you have a number of pieces on Dachau published on this site, including pieces on “false Holocaust witnesses” among survivors of this death camp. I wish that my grandfather would have survived his six months in Dachau, so that he could have shared his experiences. But sadly, he was one of thousands killed at Dachau in the final days of the war, a week before the camp was liberated in late April 1945.

      • A LOT of people think their grandparents died in German concentration camps, and SOME of these have grandparents who died in German concentration camps.

        The culpability of Germans, individually and collectively, for these deaths is subject to the sorts of nuances that attend most deaths. Just like the culpability of the crews of American bombers, who contributed to these deaths by damaging the means by which inmates were fed and cared for.

        Nuances tend to elude people who seek sympathy for the loss of relatives they never knew, or to demonize Germans, or any other disfavored group.

        My Austrian grandfather died before we ever met. Not in a concentration camp.

        • Christopher Adam says:

          Jett Rucker,

          For nearly 70 years, everyone except one member of my family decided to conceal the fact that my grandfather died in a concentration camp. My sister and I were not to know the truth. We were to be offered an “uncomplicated” family history. The story was that my grandfather “died in the war.” It was only after my aunt, the last member of my father’s immediate family, passed away two years ago that I found Holocaust restitution papers in her apartment, which I was in the process of emptying. There are many thousands of family stories nearly identical to mine in Hungary, of young people discovering only as adults their family’s well-kept secret.

          • No one in my family has received any reparations payments. Several of them, however, paid taxes for most of their lives, part of which went to fund reparations payments which, as you know, continue to this day, funded by their children and grandchildren.

            No member of my family is thought to have taken part in any of the crimes for which reparations payments were ordained, nor in fact even to have been aware of them.

            If your aunt was receiving payments, this does not prove that she was in a concentration camp (many people who never were, did and do receive them, under both fraudulent and genuine circumstances). Likewise, I can’t connect your aunt’s benefits with your grandfather’s fate; evidently you can, somehow.

          • Christopher Adam says:

            My aunt, my father and my uncle were not in a concentration camp. They were placed in the Budapest ghetto. The reparation was a one-time payment from the Government of Hungary, amounting to under $1,000. This was paid out to the children and/or the surviving spouse of Hungarian victims of forced labour and deportation.

            As for the “burden” on taxpayers: in my family’s case, they lost their large apartment in Budapest in the spring of 1944, when they were forced to move into one of the very modest houses marked with a yellow star. Their original apartment was never returned to them and no compensation was received for this loss.

            Your family need not be culpable of any crimes for you to have compassion for the victims of the Holocaust.

          • I have compassion for all victims – proportionately as I am able to gauge their suffering, their guilt, their innocence, and NOT according to anything done or not done by their purported malefactors, nor why they did or did not do those things.

            I have the opposite of compassion for those many poseurs who mingle in with the real victims, along with real victims who manage by one subterfuge or another to exaggerate their worthiness for compassion and acquire more of it than is their due.

            It’s a tricky business, this compassion, and everybody seems to want it. I fear I haven’t quite enough to around. My fault, I’m sure.

  2. Gyula Bognar, Jr. says:

    Good article Chris. Thanks!
    Antonia Meszaros always been one of my favorite TV reporter and I used to watch her on MTV 1 in the “Az Este” program. She was fired from MTV as soon as the Fidesz criminals seized power and formed a Mafia Government.
    I am happy, she and others like her got jobs and doing it very well on atv.

  3. Thank you for this report–and I am very glad to know of such a good descriptive name for the “living, grassroots Holocaust memorial” at Szabadsag ter. I have never quite known what to call it; now it is “the living memorial”.
    I am also glad to hear Mr. Rucker’s comments: I, of course, know about deniers, but have never heard from one before. Amazingly subtle and sly.

    • I’m flattered . . . sort of.

      Of course, calling me a “denier” is NOT subtle, nor even correct. But it certainly is a well-known label.

      • Liz Aucoin says:

        What would you call it if not a denier? You are accusing people of not really being victims of the holocaust, and also making extraordinary claims about people you know nothing about. I find it exceptionally disgusting that you think that because you financed reparations with your taxes, that somehow that gives you the right to claim people are lying. I guess then that gives me the right to claim that perhaps your ancestors were a part of the pillagers that stole from the jews and took their personal belongings when they were sent to their deaths? I suppose then others have the right to accuse you or your family of being collaborators with the Nazis, or even Nazis themselves? It sounds just as crazy as what you are claiming, so why the hell not?

        • It? I guess you mean the things I post here. Whatever I called “it,” I would not use ONE, SINGLE (smear) word for it.

          You KNOW there are people guilty of what I accuse them (nobody in particular) of. You ALSO KNOW that my relatives (whoever they are) paid and pay taxes in support of reparations payments.

          As for your accusations against my forebears, sure – you might be right; I’m in no position to say. I know one of my uncles was a Nazi (career move) and the other was an anti-Semite (I married a Jew, myself).

          My original comment (remember my original comment?) concerned the PRESENT, or the VERY RECENT past. You want to go back to the past? MY accusations (as to no one in particular; if the shoe fits, wear it) are undeniable; yours as to my particular forebears are just impossible to support.

          My wife met my uncles (and knew about them). We Mischpoche all got along famously.

          • Liz Aucoin says:

            No I don’t know of people claiming to be survivors of the Holocaust and weren’t. Calling “it” being a “denier” is exactly what “it” is. Also, my family has also payed for reparations from their taxes to those who suffered. The fact that your uncles were Nazis, does mean that you and your children and your childrens children should likely pay for what was done. Don’t like it? Don’t care! Just as you do not care about what happened to the Jews and others. The fact you married a Jew doesn’t make me any more sympathetic to your complaint of having to pay for what your forebears did. Why? Because there are people paying in the same manner you are who are also victims. Everyone pays, why should you be special? Especially when you admit, your one uncle was a Nazi and the other an anti-semite.

          • Fake Holocaust victims (and fake Jews) are numerous, and have been the subject of many arrests by the FBI (the Claims Conference, which is in New York), the same as fake veterans and fake everything else are.

            Some of them, like Misha Defonseca (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1580357/Wolf-woman-invents-Holocaust-survival-tale.html) write books and make movies about their non-experiences.

            I rather wonder how you can have remained ignorant of ALL these cases, all these years. Happy to have enlightened you.

  4. András Gollner says:

    Jett Rucker

    The amount of compensation paid by Hungarian taxpayers to the Hungarian victims of the Holocaust dwarfs the amount taxpayers are paying for the Orbán government’s money laundering activities (see the Questor scandal, the bankruptcy of 10 Hungarian banks owned and operated by the pro-Fidesz “aristocracy”. Instead of going after the bank accounts of the thieves, the Orbán regime goes after the pockets of Hungarian taxpayers who were fleeced earlier by the Party’s friends in high places.) Political corruption and the predatory use of taxpayers’ money has skyrocketed under the Orbán regime as Transparency International shows.
    But let’s turn to your well spoken efforts at denying the holocaust and the damage inflicted on millions by the heroes of Viktor Orbán and Gábor Vona. And let’s see where you fit into the picture. Fidesz and Jobbik are trying to whitewash the Horthy regime’s culpability in the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, and for prolonging the war against the allies. You, on the other hand, are actually trying to deny the murders outright, and are complaining that your tax tax dollars are being given away to non-existing victims. Poor you. Why don’t you come out and tell us how much money was paid by the Orbán regime between 2010-2015 TO THE FAMILIES of Holocaust victims ? Huh ? Come on, let’s hear it, holocaust denier !!! Spill the beans. Give us the weight of burden you are carrying !!!

    • That’s ANOTHER of my complaints concerning the disbursement of the taxes levied on innocent people in the name of Holocaust victims: the money isn’t even going to victims anyway! The taxes are being PAID, but it’s not getting to the people they’re for.

      Never mind the frauds, the BIG leaks are the amounts diverted to various “Jewish” organizations whose function primarily is to seek yet more money, and to Israel, whose function I won’t even go into.

      Sorry your government is corrupt (mine is, too). It just makes my attitude toward taxes, and “reparations” that much worse.

      Norman Finkelstein’s (The Holocaust Industry) parents got next to nothing. He compares their take with that of Senator Alfonse d’Amato, a (non-Jewish) exploiter of the Holocaust.

      • Liz Aucoin says:

        Then I suggest you take your complaint to the Hungarian government, they tax people in the name of reparations and haven’t paid what is owed and don’t intend to. Using known conspiracy theorists as your example such as Norman Finkelstein must be some sort of joke. Anyone who is so easily influenced by this self hating conspiracy theorist is sadly someone who is trying to find themselves. If you cannot make up your mind based on real facts, I feel sorry for you. I am not suggesting that there has never been anyone who has lied, or that the governments responsible for reparations are the only ones to blame, but it is people like this Finkelstein who are also exploiters of people who love to hate and need reasons to back up their hatred. He has preyed upon people like you who so badly need some sort of justification and he gave it to you. I hope the cost of the book was worth it to you. Who needs reparation money when you can exploit people who so badly need an excuse to hate. The KKK also makes money this way.

        • I had no idea that the Hungarian government (too) was taxing people to pay reparations. Thus far, I had been working on only the German and Austrian governments (I speak German, but I don’t have the nationality) and the US government, which influences them in this direction (I’m a US citizen).

          I’ll start working on Hungarian right away!

  5. George Lázár says:

    Dear Jett,

    It seems that your problem is not with the compensation of the victims, you seem to complain about the occasionally corrupt practices, the fraud, inefficiency etc. I agree, but name a system (welfare, disability, tax) where you cannot find crooks.

    I want to bring to your attention that war reparations are quite common. Hungary paid compensation to Czechoslovakia after WWII, and Iraq paid billions to Kuwait, companies and individuals just recently.

    The Jewish compensation is relatively small, it got more mileage in the media than it deserves. Less attention was paid to Swiss banks and insurance companies, they hid and possibly pocketed billions from victims where entire families were murdered and nobody came forward.
    I actually agree with some of Finkelstein’s points, especially about the outrageous legal fees, but don’t forget, he is an opportunist himself. He made a remarkable career attacking the “Holocaust Industry.”

    • Finkelstein got refused tenure at DePaul University after Alan Dershowitz launched a campaign there to deny it to him. Finkelstein now teaches English in Ankara, Turkey. Yes, he had a big hit with Industry, but as a career move, I don’t think it ultimately has worked out for him.

      I’m not broadly familiar with reparations, but it’s my impression that situations where reparations are paid to INDIVIDUALS are rare, at least outside the country of the beneficiary’s residence. My neighbor across the street (in Miami Beach) collected reparations for years; I know, because she had me translate some of the correspondence she received from the Bundesfinanzministerium. I recall the amount as being below $1,000 a month.

      I also have the opinion that the reparations program that Germany has been paying on since World War II (it JUST finished paying off its World War I reparations) is one of the largest and longest-running ones in history, if not the prizewinner overall. I’m personally opposed to reparations in general, along with (assigned) war guilt. Victor’s justice is an oxymoron.

  6. Hi Rucker,

    whom are you entertaining here?
    You wrote : “Thought control?” May be you wanted to write mind control. Initially worked out by Nazi mind scientist, the same ones a good 1300 of them who engineered the Paperclip project to get their way to the U.S. and wrapped the Americans around their little finger. They are alive, they are getting stronger, and believe me they gonna lose. Together with you. Now, you were smart enough to smuggle that BS site in the discussion board but let me ask you a question. Where do you live? In the U.S.? Denying the holocaust? Do you think it’s over or is only for the Jews. Where do you live? In the U.S.? Wanna end up in a FEMA concentration camp? A great project works better than Dachau. The game is in full swing now.

    Look at this. A highly classified message.
    (I have opted for the Japanese edition instead of the English for a very simple reason, Google printed them out in better resolution.) You know who owns the magazine? Pearson PLC via The Financial Times Limited, Cadbury, Rothschild, Schroder, Agnelly. They are speaking out.

    https://socioecohistory.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/economist_magazine_jan2015.jpg

    Look what is there in the lower right side of the page. Those arrows 11.5 and 11.3. but 9.11 is missing. The twin tower, then Fuksuhima, O.K. but what is 11.5? Something to remember or something waiting to happen? The numbers the occult elite’s lives on. Illuminati. For them 7 is the number of rebirth and 11 is the number of death. What 11.5 is going to be? Another nuke attack to trigger another tsunami? Where? My guess is either Kinki or New York.

    You see the pile of dirt on the ground behind the arrows? That was and will be big one. Total destruction. And Alice is staring upwards towards the Cheshire Cat. What is she doing there? Alternatively nothing will happen if the Nazis lose. If not and if it is New York and you are in the states than you will end up in a FEMA concentration camp and can open another site to deny it.

  7. Hey Jett!

    Why don’t you climb back into your hole, you Austrian Nazi bastard! Did your relatives enjoy the Anschluss, like the rest of your compatriots?

    • I believe my uncles (including my namesake) favored/liked the Anschluss. My mother was in the US, marrying my father. Obviously, she stayed there, even as he joined the US Army and fought against the Wehrmacht in Italy.

      I served in the US Navy during Vietnam, and I’m ashamed of having done so.

      • Liz Aucoin says:

        What are you ashamed of? Young people join the military all of the time, they serve and sometimes fight in wars. That is not something to be ashamed of, what is, is what you did during war time that was shameful. Just as I stated before, people have no reason to be ashamed to do their job but like in your uncles case he CHOSE to join the Nazis as a “career move” and the other was hateful just for fun, so I have no sympathy like I said and you are simply following their influence. So I think you need to chew on that a bit.

        • My uncle was drafted, and I would have been, too.

          The US armed forces, quite like the Wehrmacht of 1940, have long engaged in aggressive, unprovoked attacks on … not its neighbors, as in Germany’s case, but countries on the other side of the globe.

          The navy, specifically, conducted the Tonkin Gulf fraud, on the strength of which the US embarked on its disastrous, genocidal onslaught in Vietnam. I was in uniform at the time.

          Germany, for what it’s worth, sought only to expand its rule to places where millions of ethnic Germans already lived, and had for centuries. Its offers to Britain in 1941 to leave western Europe were not only rebuffed, but remain denied by the British government to this day. The US, for what it’s worth, launches wars of aggression virtually anyplace the agents of the US government wish, for any reason, to extend their power.

          I will go to my grave ashamed of the part I took in this.

  8. Tibor Gergely says:

    Left-leaning ATV? But surely… ATV is the mouthpiece of “Faith Church”, a Church of Scientology kind of Christian Zionist cult. Something you people approve of I presume? As for LMP being a 21st century party… 🙂 Is it really a “party”? And? What else? What makes it so important with its 2% of popular support? As for the rest of the Vona interview, it is apparent that he is willing to share power and you people are not. And you are right – why should you?

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