Recently in the spotlight

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

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 […]

by · May 4, 2015 · Politics
Troops from the Donetsk People's Republic watch Vladimir Putin on TV. Photo: Reuters.

Fighting in eastern Ukraine likely to erupt again, as sanctions against Putin fail

Ukraine may not be in the headlines at the moment, as a lull in the fighting that claimed over 6,100 lives in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions appears to be largely holding, but both the U.S. State Department and experts on Russian foreign foreign policy strongly suggest that it’s merely a matter of time before the war is reignited. Russia […]

by · May 3, 2015 · East
Alexei Galitsky of Night Volwes is greeted by Vladimir Szemidetko First Secretary of the Russian Embassy in Budapest.

Hungary welcomes pro-Kremlin Night Wolves motorcyclists

Members of the Night Wolves, a Russian biker club decided to travel to Berlin to mark the 70th anniversary of the defeat of fascism. Their journey started in Moscow on April 25; they were heading west to the Polish border. The Polish Foreign Ministry has banned the biker gang linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin from entering the country. Polish […]

by · May 1, 2015 · Politics
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Miskolc earlier this month. Photo: Facebook.

Hungary’s prime minister shamelessly calls for death penalty

Ever since the governing Fidesz party’s defeat in the Tapolca by-election to the far-right, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been shamelessly scrambling to appease and win back the support of those who voted for Jobbik. A few days ago, I wrote about the Orbán’s government overtly xenophobic “national consultation,” where a series of loaded questions suggest that immigration and terrorism […]

by · April 29, 2015 · Politics
Liberland: A new self-proclaimed “state” just south of Hungary

Liberland: A new self-proclaimed “state” just south of Hungary

A group of young Czech libertarians planted a flag on a 7 square kilometer tract of land, nestled between Croatia and Serbia, which has been abandoned, uninhabited and disputed since the Yugoslav wars of the 1990’s. The heart-shaped plot of land, located along the shores of the Danube, is considered to be a terra nullius, although according to an agreement […]

by · April 28, 2015 · East
Armenians demonstrate against the Orbán government.

The Armenian genocide and the Orbán government’s shameful stand

By now, I lived most of my adult life in California, and I consider myself a proud citizen of this state, which is also the home to the largest Armenian community outside Armenia. April 24th is the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, and there were commemorations all over California. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the massacre of more than […]

by · April 27, 2015 · East
Hungarian immigrants in Québec in the 1920s, before heading west, to the prairies. Source: Department of the Interior photographic records / Collections Canada.

Demonizing immigrants — Here’s why Hungary’s Fidesz is no less dangerous than Jobbik

There is a very common misconception in the West that Fidesz is somehow the lesser of two evils when it comes to the Hungarian right and the rising fortunes of the far-right Jobbik. Nothing could be further from the truth. For Fidesz, the only thing that counts is political expediency. To some extent, being effective politically, and thus being ideologically […]

by · April 25, 2015 · Politics
Illustration: Jon Herr.

Fidesz and the language of love and unity

How can one use the language of “love,” “cooperation” and “unity” to bring masses of people into a frenzy and to make them obedient? András Göllner, the founder of the Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter, explores this question in an essay published in HFP’s sister paper, the Kanadai Magyar Hírlap (KMH). For those HFP readers who are proficient in Hungarian, we strongly […]

by · April 24, 2015 · Politics
Gábor Staudt (left) and István Szávay (right) are comfortable in Mr. Ferenc Kumin's New York office. Photo: Facebook.

Hungary’s Jobbik continues major North American campaign

The far right Jobbik party’s politicians are engaging in their first major political tour of Hungarian diaspora communities in the United States, with stops in Boston, Washington D.C. and New York City. In New York City, Jobbik Members of Parliament Gábor Staudt (who had previously given a highly controversial talk in Toronto) and István Szávay descended upon the offices of […]

by · April 23, 2015 · Diaspora
Hungarian Red Army monument in Újpest. Fidesz and Jobbik have partnered to have it demolished.

History wars: Hungarian radical leftist writes to college classmate, Gábor Vona

Hungary is a small country and early twentieth century author Frigyes Karinthy’s theory on the six degrees of separation isn’t really applicable to a society of this size. As it turns out, during his university days, the chairman of the Left Party (Balpárt), Szilárd Kalmár, lived in the same dorms as Gábor Vona, the leader of the far-right Jobbik party. […]

by · April 22, 2015 · Focus