Letter to the Editor: It’s high time to remove the rose-coloured glasses concerning Ukraine

Dear Mr. Lázár,

Let me express my concerns and indignation to what you have written in your article of April 21, 2018 (The Hungarian American Coalition is honouring Orbán’s lobbyist in Ukraine, Ildikó Orosz) because it contains outrageous accusations and lies that are extremely harmful to Hungarians living in Transcarpathia. I find it profoundly disturbing that, observing the serious difficulties and enormous struggles of Transcarpathian Hungarians from a bird’s-eye view, you are tarnishing the image of a person who has devoted her whole life to the struggle for the Hungarian community, for the Hungarian language education in the region. I know personally Dr. Ildikó Orosz. We have been working hard together for about twenty years for the cause of Hungarians living in Transcarpathia, that they will be treated with a degree of human dignity and equal opportunities, and that their language rights, schools, culture and identity not be taken away from them. Ms Orosz has made enormous efforts establishing the sole higher educational institution with Hungarian language in order to have good perspectives of the Hungarian young people on their motherland, and to get higher education in mother tongue.

On what basis do you accuse falsely Ms Orosz “to act according to Putin’s agenda” and to be “Orbán”s lobbyist” when you are clearly not aware of the situation there and of her enormous work? First of all, she is not a “lobbyist”, she is a real community leader and minority rights protector, and a pedagogue of great respect in Transcarpathia and Hungary as well. Secondly: You are not right when accusing the Hungarian government and the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of “blocking Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration ” because of “loyalty to Putin”, because the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and the Fidesz-Christian Democrat alliance are the only ones who take a real stand for Transcarpathian Hungarians, a commitment that resulted in difficult conflicts. They do so because their humanity transcends politics and they are well aware of the situation in Transcarpathia, and the conflict is really about the language rights, and all the other acquired ethnic minority rights that are currently under threat from the side of the Ukrainian authorities. The “Revolution of Dignity” was carried out with the aim of taking the European way, instead of it we can experience that Ukrainian politicians are now escalating their infringements on our human and ethnic minority rights, and meanwhile, you, great democrats, right-defenders just turn a blind eye. It doesn’t matter for you that the Transcarpathian Hungarians have been threatened several times with physical aggression, our flag was burnt, or the headquarters of our cultural organization was bombed. These troubling signs don’t bother you, and instead you push the false propaganda that “pro-Putin Orbán is restraining Ukraine”?

It’s high time to remove the rose-coloured glasses concerning Ukraine. Ildikó Orosz very much deserves to be honored by the Hungarian American Coalition. I would be glad if you talked to her, so you could come to understand how unjust your accusations are. It should be corrected.

Andrea Bocskor

*

Andrea Bocskor (FIDESZ) is a Member of the European Parliament. 

Andrea Bocskor (FIDESZ)

30 Comments

  1. That article was despicable to say the least! It is like calling the rapist a victim, and the victim a monster. Ukraine’s policies towards historical minorities have turned nasty from the first moment that Yanukovic was ousted. In a country that was near-bankrupt, their first concern, the very next day was to repeal minority rights. The acts of intimidation & violence by right wing fanatics, the despicable massacre of ethnic Russians in Odessa, surrounded and burned to death in a building, are all a testament to what Ukraine is and what it stands for today. The fact that Ukraine’s Western supporters have done nothing to put pressure on Ukraine to reverse this despicable state of things is in fact responsible for the civil war they have in the east, and for Hungarian-Ukrainian relations, and it also tarnishes the West’s reputation. It is definitely not Hungary which should be accused of being the instigator, but Ukraine through its actions. Hungary is simply reacting and doing so 100% morally and correctly, even if Hungary’s Western partners do not like it. It is they who lost the moral high ground on this one, together with their Ukrainian fascist puppets, so the only thing that is left for them is “might makes right”. If that wins out in the end, it will be a huge human injustice. And for someone who claims to be Hungarian, to attack those who stand up for those minority rights is equally despicable as the acts against those minority groups. Like I said already, Mr. Lazar is definitely a Gyurcsany Hungarian.

  2. The fact of the matter is that the Hungarian government is demanding that the Ukranian government teach it citizens in Hungarian language.

    Do the Ukranian government ever demanded that the Hungarian government teach its citizens in the Ukranian language ? I really doubt that.

    The only question may be asked here is, do any one in Ukraine have the basic right to learn, teach, or speek any language they’d prefer ?

    They rather concentrate on a common language in all of Europe that may help all the population to achieve a better life, by speaking a common language, that would advance the economic well-being of all people.

    Singapore is a very good example of that. They legally abandoned all the local languages , adopted a common language for all,and its economy as well as their educational system is an envy of the world.

    Eastern Europe is about at the end of the line on both of those vital issues. Ukraine as well as Hungary, has a very long way to catch up.
    Today it is South Africa that is considering the very same issue.

    • “Do the Ukrainian government ever demanded…….” I am not sure whether there is even a historical Ukrainian minority in Hungary, but if there is, they have the right to learn in their own language, and to cultural autonomy, according to Hungarian law, so there would be no reason for Ukraine to ask, because Hungarian law would already provide those rights.

      As for the general question of historical minority rights, you are entitled to your opinion that they should have none and be subjected to homogenization & assimilation. In my view however, given that we are talking of historical minorities, in other words demographic groups & communities which became a minority in another country, due to historical circumstances such as border changes, their right to preserve culture, language heritage should be safeguarded and that does include the right to learn in their own language and use it at local level when applicable. Bringing up Singapore is not necessarily applicable, because it has another history, therefore different circumstances.

      While I defend your right to say the things you say, including from censorship on this site, I have to say that your ideas that you are fully entitled to express, are pretty messed up on many occasions. Sometimes I question whether you are even fully sober when you write, because you just seem to be way off the mark, even when you write something that I generally tend to agree with.

  3. Istvan Harsany says:

    Urban and the FIDESZ are stirring the s..t in every neighboring country where Hungarians lived in peace for many years. Now if this neo-naci group does go on it could lead to war. All intelligent Hungarian should get together and throw them out before they bring a disaster to that region. One more lost war and there is no Hungary.

    • This was the wish of France when drawing the borders in the region 100 years ago. They saw Hungarians as natural allies of Germans. They figured if they make sure that there is a sizable Hungarian minority in every neighboring country, they can always create an alliance against Hungarians, therefore Germans on Germany’s eastern flank. This is a historical fact that cannot be changed. It does not mean however that Hungary should abandon fighting for decent treatment of the millions of ethnic Hungarians gifted to neighbors as their door mats, to wipe their boots on. And no, there doesn’t need to be a war over the issue, just some mutual understanding.

  4. How come Ms Bocskor, a citizen of and resident in the Ukraine sits in the EP for a Hungarian political party acting against laws passed by the Uk parliament?
    I can imagine the hubbub, outrage and assault she would have faced in the reverse role, even the 100% Hungarian non Fid EMPs are labeled traitors if they disagree with Orban’s positions in the EU.

  5. Politics aside, how are the 130 000 Hun minority supposed to prosper in 40+ million country if they don’t master the local language in their respective field of higher education ?
    Ms Bocskor’s tip is that they will have “good prospectives on (in) their motherland” ie. in Hungary. That means the best educated will leave and accelerate the reduction of the Hun minority quality and numbers which is contrary to the professed goals of the Orban regime (not that I find this so tragic if the individuals achieve better life).

    • 1) Recycling that population into Hungary would be preferable to assimilation.

      2) Look up the Switzerland model for both majority & historical minorities prospering side by side in coexistence.

      Given evidence to the contrary, the bigoted argument of assimilating policies against historical minorities for their own good, is perverse.

      Aside from that, once more a reminder why most Hungarians are increasingly rejecting the Hungarian left. How can they not, when Hungarian left are always finding themselves on the same side of barricade as Ukro-fascists, Romanian bigots and so on, against the ethnic Hungarian minorities in those countries?

    • Peter
      Your solution all to Hun (if that’s “recycling”) is already happening, nothing wrong with it, but it’s exactly the opposite of what did claims to stand for.

      I tried to put politics aside for a moment, but you little pricks can’t resolve anything but jump on “barricades” to get into another “struggle” (küzdelem) and never learn, not from the grand failures of Tisza, Trianon, irredentism, Horthy so now comes Orban , the most miserable of all.

      • “now comes Orban , the most miserable of all.”

        Staying with this subject in regards to Ukraine’s assault on minority rights, how do you figure that he is “the most miserable of all”? This is a little bit like demonizing the rape victim for scratching the rapist’s face.

      • Peter
        To overcome the comprehension problems I will write this slowly:
        The ways many Hun govs tackled problems have been very poor, inadequate, counterproductive and Orban is the latest and most miserable example of this tradition (eg. Szijjarto ranting at the EP). While defending something they burn down the house.

        • Yes, and it is often recommended to women to avoid putting up excessive resistance when being raped, because sometimes the rapist tends to retaliate, making it worse. Yet can you really blame and vilify the rape victim for striking back?

        • The raped and robbed are the Hungarians eg. paying the highest VAT, etc and the perpetrators are the Orban Mafia starting with Mèssàros/ Orbàn.

          • Yeah! We were talking historical minority rights, and the tendency of some here to blame the victim.

          • Btw
            There’s no such thing as “historical minorities” or “historical Hungary” since panta rei – those Hun minorities are diminishing and will disappear in a couple of decades, ie in a blink of the eye of History.

  6. PETER;

    The right of every one in a society is one thing.
    But to demands special preveledges for any group, at the cost of the majority , is discrimination !
    In democracy even the RIGHT of a single individual can not be disregarded, or violated.
    That is what you do when force the masses to pay for special preveleges for a few.
    The rights of ALL people must be equally guaranteed.
    Is it NOT guaranteed in Ukraine ???
    Answer me that please !
    Why would Hungarians enjoy special preveledges in Ukraine?
    And why would any one enjoy special preveledges in Hungary ?
    Just why not guarantee every one all their basic human rights equally ???

    • “But to demands special preveledges for any group, at the cost of the majority , is discrimination !”

      1) It is not a special privilege. It is the same right for a historical minority that the majority enjoys.

      2) It is a stretch to say that it is costing the majority something. Switzerland has a German majority, and three historical minority groups, where they have autonomy within cantons, and there are four official languages. Yet Switzerland is one of the most prosperous countries on earth. How can you explain this? One explanation is that the majority learned to respect historical minorities and got on with the business of building their lives together, while Ukraine following your logic of shoving the majority’s fists down the throats of minority groups is tearing itself to pieces, with it economy now having a GDP/capita of only about $2,400, similar to African average.

      • Pityi Palkó says:

        ‘Yet Switzerland is one of the most prosperous countries on earth. How can you explain this?’

        They sit on half the world’s elsikkasztott wealth !

  7. Dear Ms.Bocskor;

    You are demanding special privileges for ethnic- Hungarians who happen to live in Ukraine. And you are demanding that special privilege be provided to ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine, at the cost of the rest of the citizens of Ukraine.

    My question to you is, does Ukraine guarantee the basic human rights of of ALL its citizens ? In case it might deny it to some one, or any one, based upon one’s ethnicity, than I’ll support your demands. But otherwise, you are discriminating against the majority citizens of the country.
    That is very objectionable. The time of special privileges to any one should have been long gone and forgotten, even in Ukraine.

  8. Istavan Harsanyi;

    Hungary to go to war?
    With what?
    For what reason or purpose?
    War against who ?
    Hungary has failed in every wars it partook in all history. Since the time of Vajk.

  9. Oh Peter, what a strange idea you came up with, when you attempted to equate the Hungarian language situation to that of Switzerland.
    Each group speak their own language and maintain their own educational system in their own cantons.
    All have the right equally to everything.
    Nobody is forced to pay to provide privileges to any one.
    It is the right guaranteed to every one to do as every one may please.
    That is NOT a right that others do not enjoy or even want. Like to learn Hungarian in Ukraine.
    As long as all the Hungarians there are NOT prevented to learn and speak whatever language they prefer. Or anything else.
    That is you have failed to answer !

    • “Each group speak their own language and maintain their own educational system in their own cantons.”

      Hungarians in Ukraine would be more than happy to do the same. Fewer of their taxes going to Kiev, and instead staying local, where they could run their affairs, including their schools, and do so in their own language. No ethnic Hungarian in Ukraine, Romania, Serbia or elsewhere ever asked for more, but currently we are very far from such an arrangement.

      As things stand right now, ethnic Hungarians do pay their taxes in Ukraine, therefore they are not asking Ukrainians to pay for Hungarian language schools, so I am not sure where you are going with your argument.

      Sometimes I get the feeling you are not always living on this planet, if you know what I mean!

  10. Robert Morrison says:

    Observer on April 27, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    „How come Ms Bocskor, a citizen of and resident in the Ukraine sits in the EP for a Hungarian political party acting against laws passed by the Uk parliament?”

    While it might sound controversial, in fact she represents the Transcarpathian Hungarian minority in the EU as an MEP. If she acted against let say the financial interest of Ukraine proposing the withdrawal of EU funds from the country as some rats from Hungary did against their delegating country, I would easily agree with you. As long as she is fighting minority right abuse without acting against the interest of Ukraine I believe that is quite right.

    • RM
      You didn’t answer how would it be if some eg. ethnic Romanians in Hun were sent to the EUP by a Romanian party and act against Hun legislation.

      This while the Orban regime conducts huge campaigns against the NGO’s (with all the BS of Soros plans, his ruling the EU and the US, etc) and lists as “foreign agents” all who disagree and do their jobs as watchdogs. This is an act of dictatorship, of a fascist regime.

    • If it walks like a duck, if it quacks like duck, if it looks like a duck it probably is a duck, never mind what Angry Bird Szíjjarto waffles.

  11. Robert Morrison says:

    Observer on April 28, 2018 at 11:28 am

    “You didn’t answer how would it be if some eg. ethnic Romanians in Hun were sent to the EUP by a Romanian party and act against Hun legislation”

    Please read it again. I did took a stand on it although I didn’t name any minority. Just to repeat it for your convenience; if the government enacted a law that suppresses the right of ANY minority to learn and use their first language not only I would support the EPM to speak up against it but myself would also voice my objection to such laws.

    • RM
      This is still not an answer, you’re talking smth else, as usual.

      Re language: the Ukr law makes Ukr the tuition language after grade 4 – hardly equates with “suppresses the right of ANY minority to learn and use their first language”.
      BTW the Orban regime severely suppresses freedom of education in Hungary by:
      – imposing gov produced textbooks, banning all other materials,
      – centralizing the whole education system,
      – controlling all appointments, applying political criteria,
      – persecuting disenting professional opinions, practically outlawing protests or strikes….
      Yes, it’s a duck / a quasi fascist state, so easy with the “suppressions”.

  12. Robert Morrison says:

    @Andrea Bocskor

    I posted a comment here to you in which I stated that I was glad for you sounded the alarm and that you addressed it to the editor with the hope he will do something about it. I cautioned you not to hold your breath because the mentioned writer is a member of the editorial group and for that he has advantage over you and everybody else.

    Instead of being published my comment was simply suppressed by the editor so I repeat my advise “not to hold your breath” to see any withdrawal of the subject article or the slightest display of regret, not to mention an apology.

  13. Robert Morrison says:

    Bendeguz79 on April 27, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    “The fact of the matter is that the Hungarian government is demanding that the Ukranian government teach it citizens in Hungarian language. Do the Ukranian government ever demanded that the Hungarian government teach its citizens in the Ukranian language ? I really doubt that.”

    I agree with you, with some difference. I still have to see a single Ukrainian in Hungary that was displaced by redrawing the borders of their country. The Hungarians in Ukraine were born or being the decedents of born Hungarians, therefore their MOTHER TONGUE is Hungarian, thus denying the right to be educated in Hungarian is a forced assimilation of their cultural identity into the main stream. You can be sure that they do not lack ability to communicate in the official language.

    “The only question may be asked here is, do any one in Ukraine have the basic right to learn, teach, or speak any language they’d prefer?”
    Shouldn’t be in your opinion?

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