UN Ambassador Katalin Bogyay to bamboozle New York Synagogue audience

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.

Ambassador Bogyay (in the middle) assured American Jewish Committee (AJC) members that Hungary is committed to the fight against anti-Semitism.

Ambassador Bogyay (in the middle) assured American Jewish Committee (AJC) members that Hungary is committed to the fight against anti-Semitism.

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.

György Lázár


  1. To be fair – the least of the problem with the Orbán government is its treatment of the Jews that miraculously survived the Holocaust in Hungary. To focus the criticism of Orbán’s autocracy on this single issue is not only a tragic mistake, but a dead-end.

    Hungarian Jews are allowed to practice their religion. They have their places of worship, schools, and receive considerable support from the State in keeping their communities alive. People are not fired from their jobs for being Jewish, there is no quota system, as under Admiral Horthy. Jews do not live in fear for their life under the Orbán government. Orbán’s Canadian Ambassador, Bálint Ódor, like Mrs Bogyay, regularly shows up at North American synagogues, to present reassuring talks, and to hand out moneys to Holocaust memorials and Jewish causes. So what’s the problem then?

    The biggest problem is, that in return for the funding and the comforting words, Jews everywhere in the world, are expected to close their eyes to reality, and remain silent about the murder of democratic governance in Hungary!!!! That is the number one problem. But there are many more problems with the comforting speech Mrs. Bogyay is about to deliver in New York, and I trust someone in her audience will remind her of this.

    In return for the Orbán government’s largess, in return for the reassurances given to North America’s Jews by Orbán’s emissaries, Jews everywhere in the world, must tolerate and cooperate with the Orbán government’s falsification of Jewish history. They must accept the government’s lie that more than 800,000 of their relatives before the end of WWII lived happily and without discrimination in Horthy’s Hungary. They have to accept, the government’s deflection of any Hungarian responsibility for the murder of 600,000 Jews between 1941-1945. In return for the Orbán government’s funding, they have to shut up when Orbán humiliates the victims of the Holocaust, by decorating a friend of his – Zsolt Bayer – who laments, that Hungarian Jewry was not exterminated in its entirety as early as 1920, at a forest in Orgovány. This is the cooperation, or bargain, that the late Elie Wiesel, or the world’s most respected authority on the Hungarian Holocaust, Randolph L. Braham, refused. The second problem with Orbán’s treatment of the Jews then is this: In return for school subsidies, and holocaust memorial funding, Hungarian and world Jewry must accept the Orbán government’s version of history, which claims, that Christian Hungary is the victim of a Liberal-Cosmopolitan-Jewish collusion. In return for the school funding, Jews must accept a version of history that makes them responsible for WWI, for the Treaty of Trianon, for Communism in Hungary, and for the rise of anti-Semitism in Hungary today!!! In return for government funding, Jews everywhere in the world must close their eyes to the life support system given to Jew haters in Hungary by Fidesz and by its junior partner, the Jobbik. The low-flame maintenance of the spirit of anti-Semitism in Hungary is a small price to pay for survival, and the guarantees of religious freedom, and school funding. Or is it???

    But there is a third problem with all this charitable behavior by the Orbán government towards the Jews, and it has to do with what Mrs. Bogyay will not address at New York’s Sutton Place Synagogue. She will put on a great performance. She is a dynamic speaker, living in great comfort now in New York, without any financial worry or fear, thanks to Viktor Orbán’s close personal friendship. She adores the cultural dynamism of New York, as she adored her posting to London. She lived a charmed life by serving her political masters and delivering whatever they demanded of her. She’ll deliver this time as well, and reassure everyone, that Jews have nothing to fear, and should praise, rather than criticize Orbán. What she won’t say is this: the price for her comfort, is the loss of her soul. The price for the comfort of her audience, is the loss of solidarity with those for whom the truth, the rule of law, the freedom of the press, respect for the victims of the Holocaust, for justice, constitutional government, the operation of checks and balances and judicial independence is a sacred trust.

  2. Ronald Lauder, head of the World Jewish Congress, named Hungary the most anti-Semitic country in Europe.

    That little fiasco with the Sukoró investment still hurts……

  3. In return for the Orbán government’s funding, they have to shut up when Orbán humiliates the victims of the Holocaust, by decorating a friend of his – Zsolt Bayer – who laments, that Hungarian Jewry was not exterminated in its entirety

    What a disgusting lie – Bayer has never said that the Jews should have been eliminated in their entirety.

    [The rest of this post has been moderated. Antisemitism is not tolerated on these pages.]

    • Avatar Charlie London says:

      Liladiadel – you spit, spew, dribble such hate that I don’t know how you can live with yourself. And, if you do, Iive with others?

      You are the embodiment of true evil.

  4. Avatar György Lázár says:

    My two cents…

    The Hungarian issue is not just misrepresentation or falsification of history… it is possibly legal fraud. Hungary presented falsified documents to New York based ADL and Mr. Foxman gave a posthumous award to János Esterházy. Slovakia has protested, the award should be withdrawn… Hungary initiated a fake legal process in the US to shut down kuruc.info yet the portal is still operating in California with plenty of Hungarian advertisers. Orbán claims that Hungarian law enforcement cannot find the people behind the portal in Hungary… yet they have a tax ID (they can give “áfás számla”)….

  5. A. Gölner
    Yes, Organ giveth a peacock dance (transl. Just for show) and some silver, but taketh the rule of law, the freedom of opinion and of the press, taketh constitutional government, democracy.
    The subtle and not so subtle fanning of intolerance, hatred and racism/anti Semitism keep the evil fire alive.
    In these circumstances, ie. without enlightened policies, positive political environment and institutional guarantees and protection the dictator can easily point to any group, part of society and unleashe the awaken evil forces.

  6. @ liladiadal

    The hungarian words Bayer used were these. “Sajnos nem sikerült mindet beásni nyakig az orgoványi erdőben…” Please feel free to correct my translation. “It’s too bad we weren’t able to bury all of them up to their necks in the forest of Orgovány” He also said, that the mere existence of Jewish journalists in Budapest is cause enough for anti-Semitism in Hungary. Here is a nice list of quotations from Orbán’s nationally decorated “best buddy”, who also happens to be a card carrying member of Fidesz. Put them under your pillow, sleep tight and don’t let the bugs bite


  7. An interesting piece and was printed out bilingual, Hungarian and English on the nytimes. This is the link to the English version but right under the headline can be changed to Hungarian.


  8. Göllner,

    You know full well that Bayer did not refer to the entire Jewry, but to those Commie terrorists (both the murderers and their propagandists for generations) who got away from justice, and later kept on smearing Hungary.

  9. Gyorgy Lazar’s vicious attack on Ambassador Bogyay is misplaced and counterproductive. The Orban regime certainly has a lot to answer for. But attacking the woman who has strived for years to defend Jewish causes, to promote Jewish culture, who is vocally against antisemitism, is irresponsible.
    The Hungarian government has named her their representative at the UNITED NATIONS,(One of their better moves) and she sees her job as “building bridges”, which indeed she is striving to do.
    In 2006, in London, she participated in making Imre Kertesz’s interview at the Jewish Book Fair the centerpiece of that event, also later chairing discussions at the London Jewish Center.
    Her dinners at the the Permanent Mission of Hungary to the UN mixes members of New York’s Jewish population, many of them personal friends and diplomats from all over the globe.
    Recently, she screened, at the Permanent Mission, the premiere of an Emmy winning documentary about Hungarian Hidden Children during the Holocaust, which clearly established Hungary’s collusion with the Nazi’s.
    Instead of attacking her, let’s recognize that there is at least ONE person who is doing what she ought to and give her a louder voice!

  10. @ Evie Blaikie

    Instead of criticizing Mr. Lázár, you should tell Ms. Bogyay, whom I know very well, that she should do what is right, rather than what is comfortable.

    The perks of high office, a high salary, a glitzy Manhattan apartment, a big expense account, wardrobe and travel allowance, access to New York’s celebrities may have its charms, but these benefits should not compel her to sell her soul. I once admired her as a servant of democracy. She is now serving a corrupt autocrat, who regularly violates most of the fundamental values enshrined in the UN’s Charter of Human Rights .
    In the event she accuses me of exaggeration, here are a few pieces of evidence you can cite her.

    Recently, more than 20 of Hungary’s leading civil rights organizations, including the country’s Civil Liberties Union, stated that, Orbán’s government, „is inciting hatred against refugees that will further weaken the already shattered social solidarity in our country. The government wants to create creatures who decide about public matters and the fate of others based on our worst instincts. Instead of informing people, the government seeks to eliminate the possibility of free citizens making rational, fact-based decisions. It does not offer a solution either to the situation of refugees or the future of the European Union. It rejects solidarity with our fellow human beings in plight, just like with the other European member states. It has no intention to create a framework for peaceful coexistence. We are convinced that nobody can feel safe in the long run where public discourse is defined by hatred.This referendum is incompatible with the concept of human rights.”

    The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights came to the support of the protesting NGOs by declaring that Hungary’s approach is “an entirely unacceptable infringement of the human rights of refugees and migrants. Seeking asylum is not a crime.”

    Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights was equilly blunt. In a recent statement published by the New York Times he said this: „Hungary’s disengagement from human rights protections and the rule of law is not new. In recent years, its government has put pressure on the news media, eroded the independence of the judiciary and obstructed the work of nonprofit groups. But it is on migration that Hungary’s departure from human rights norms is most glaring. It has pushed ahead with an agenda that can be described only as institutionalized xenophobia. Smear campaigns against refugees are sadly not new to Europe: The U.K. Independence Party in Britain, the National Front in France and Italy’s Northern League have all exploited similar xenophobic messages. But in Hungary, it is the government itself that’s pushing such falsehoods.”

    Please tell Ms Bogyay, that wining and dining New York’s Jewish aristocracy will not wash away the odium: Ms Bogyay is entertaining her guests, on Hungarian taxpayer’s money, and on behalf of a regime, that honours some of the country’s most notorious anti-Semites. She should follow the example set by the late Elie Wiezel, or the great Randolph L. Braham, and do the right thing and refuse to be an accomplice of Orbán’s affinity fraud towards the Jews.

  11. Avatar Child of survivors says:

    Ms Bogvay: mehet a Tuzbe!
    Most anti Semitic country in the world! If you follow the MAV railroad case initiated finally by Hungarian survivors who were lied to, put their belongings on their trains by force, then, a few stops later were told to get off and forced into cattle trains where after a painful, sadistic trip ending in Auschwitz – the case was thrown out of Hungarian courts, but we promise you it will not end – talk about that sadism you well, lying Ms Bogvay!!!

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