András Göllner published a piece on Hungary’s slow slide into despotism in the National Post, which elicited a response from Hungarian Ambassador Bálint Ódor. Mr. Ódor’s response then led to an op-ed from columnist George Jonas, who agreed with the ambassador and wrote fearfully of the dangers of Europe turning into “Eurabia.” Professor Göllner offered the following response to Mr. Ódor and Mr. Jonas, in Friday’s National Post.
Hungary’s ambassador to Canada is fuming. He accuses me of playing the “Nazi card” and of “falsely and viciously accusing Hungary of embarking on a racially motivated immigration policy.” He ought to know by now, shooting the messenger is not the best way to get out of the woods. What I wrote merely repeated what the world already knows.
The European Union Parliament, passed a blistering resolution two months ago against the unsavory conduct of the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. The UN’s Commissioner on Human Rights stated Hungary’s handling of the human tragedy is “callous, xenophobic, anti-Muslim and against international law.” UNICEF said more or less the same, as did the governments of Austria, France, Sweden, Luxemburg, Croatia, Romania and Serbia, to name just a few.
All of Hungary’s democratic opposition parties, the country’s leading non-governmental organizations, including Hungary’s Civil Liberties Union, agree. Two hundred of the country’s top jurists have just declared its emergency laws are “unlawful and unjust.”
Calling all of these good people “asinine,” as George Jonas did, is amusing. As for playing the “Nazi card” — don’t listen to me, Mr. Ódor, listen to Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laurate Elie Wiesel: “The Hungarian authorities are encouraging the whitewashing of tragic and criminal episodes in Hungary’s past, namely the wartime Hungarian government’s involvement in the deportation and murder of hundreds of thousands of its Jewish citizens …. I do not wish to be associated in any way with such activities.”
András B. Göllner, Montreal.