D. J. Gabor – Dutch politician is proud to be honored by the Orbán government

The Hungarian government recently recalled its ambassador to the Netherlands after the Dutch Ambassador to Hungary, Gajus Scheltema, drew parallels between the government’s efforts to “create enemies” and those of the Islamic State group.  In an interview Scheltema also criticized Hungary’s treatment of asylum-seekers and the government’s campaign against philanthropist George Soros.

Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders distanced himself from his ambassador’s comments. “Of course, we can in no way say or give the impression that the Hungarian government has the same methods as terrorists,” and Geert Wilders, the leader of Party for Freedom tweeted “Dutch ambassador Gajus Scheltema is an idiot.”

Hungarian Foreign Minister, Péter Szijjártó took “one of the most radical steps in diplomacy” and warned “we won’t settle for an explanation behind closed doors,” adding that Scheltema, who was already scheduled to leave Hungary soon, was no longer welcome at any Hungarian ministry or state institutions.  (Read Christopher Adam’s analysis about the conflict here)

I was surprised to learn that during the spat with the Dutch Ambassador the Orbán Government honored another Dutch politician with a State Award.  Mr. Dzsingisz Gabor, who was born in 1940 in Győr, Hungary, left the country at the age of 16 during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.  He became a prominent Christian Democrat political and was also a member of the Dutch Parliament representing the CDA party. (Here is his political CV in Flemish)

Hungary’s Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Zsolt Semjén (left), Mr. Dzsingisz Gabor wearing the Commander’s Cross (right).

Considering the tension in Hungarian-Dutch relations I found the timing of his award unusual and asked Mr. Gabor about it.  Here is his response.


Dear Mr. Lazar,

In reply to your first question: why did I accept the State Award from the Hungarian Government out of the hands of Mr. Semjén, I answer that I consider it a great honour to be awarded the Commander Cross with star by the Hungarian President, Mr. Áder.

In the motivation for the award the president points to my activities with regard to agriculture and my activities to promote the good image of Hungary.

In the past 60 years I have been happy to promote the good image and the reputation of the country where I was born and I hope to be able to do so in the future.

To your second question: would I think that the timing of my award was influenced by the diplomatic discussions between Hungary and the Netherlands, I must answer no.

President Áder signed the document with the motivation on July 24th.

The interview with Ambassador Scheltema in the weekly 168óra to which you refer was published a month later on August 24th.  By the way, I hope that the discussion about this article will soon be closed. Hungary and the Netherlands have a very good and deeply founded relationship which goes back to the time of the Reformation and has been renewed time and again.

I hope to have answered your questions sufficiently.

Sincerely Yours,
Gabor Dzsingisz

In a Hungarian language note Mr. Gábor added that altogether he has received five Hungarian Government honors in the last decades.  Mr. Gabor also maintains a website at http://www.gaborperspektiva.eu/


György Lázár

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