Katalin Bogyay is the Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations and on Saturday, October 15, the 60-year-old diplomat will be a special guest at a New York synagogue. Sutton Place Synagogue has invited Ms. Bogyay to their Sabbath service to give a talk entitled – Revival of Hungarian Jewish Culture & the Fight Against Anti-Semitism.
No doubt Ms. Bogyay will talk about the Orbán government’s struggle to counter anti-Semitism and about the so called “rebirth” of Jewish life in Hungary. In other words, she will continue the government’s misinformation campaign and recite a well-rehearsed propaganda script.
I assume that most members of the Sutton Place Synagogue have never been to Hungary and don’t speak Hungarian either. They probably have never had a chance to meet the daily protesters on Szabadság Square in Budapest who object to the ongoing government-sponsored falsification of World War II history. (Read here.)
The Orbán government is not fighting anti-Semitism with full force, just the opposite, they are quietly fanning anti-Semitic sentiments. In fact, Hungary is the only country in the EU where institutionalized anti-Semitism is the de facto government policy. Ronald Lauder, head of the World Jewish Congress, named Hungary the most anti-Semitic country in Europe. (Read here.)
For example Ms. Bogyay won’t speak about Mr. Zsolt Bayer, the notoriously racist and anti-Semitic journalist, a close friend of Prime Minister Orbán, who has received a high state award.
She won’t talk about the 50+ statues erected of writer and convicted World War II criminal Albert Wass who received the death sentence for killing Jews yet he is revered now as a great patriot and human being.
She won’t talk about another convicted World War II criminal, János Esterházy who participated in the destruction of the Slovak Jews. He is celebrated today as a “Jew saver.” And she won’t talk about Col. Ferenc Koszorus, Sr., an officer of the pro-Hitler Horthy regime who also recently became a “Jew saver,” although Yad Vashem has never acknowledged him as The Righteous Among the Nations.
Ambassador Bogyay won’t talk about the communication tricks and the lobbyists whose job it is to cover up her government’s racism. She won’t talk about the wholesale falsification and distortion of Hungary’s Holocaust history or about her pivotal role in ensuring Palestine is to become a member of UNESCO. The Obama administration vehemently opposed that move. (See her announcement here.)
Rabbi Ain announced that Ms. Bogyay will speak during Shabbat services and “there will be time for questions and answers during Kiddush.” To be honest, I would have never invited Ms. Bogyay to speak; I just hope that Rabbi Ain’s congregants will ask her some tough questions.