Orbán’s anti-Semitism is prime-time TV news in the US

On August 15th the PBS NewsHour interviewed Danny Ayalon, former Israeli ambassador to the US, during a piece on Israel barring two U.S. congresswomen, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, both Muslims. Israel claims that Reps. Omar and Tlaib are anti-Semitic.

The reporter pointed out that Israel has welcomed politicians in the past who have used anti-Semitic rhetoric, for example Viktor Orbán of Hungary and Italian Matteo Salvini. “Both of them have been anti-Semites in some of their political language. They were welcomed to Israel. So, what’s the difference?”

And here is Danny Ayalon’s answer: “They respect the country. They promote cooperation with our country. And if they did have anti-Semitic — any references, of course, we would not — we would not condone it and we would call them out.”

Well, Ambassador Ayalon conveniently forgets that Israel has never called out Orbán’s anti-Semitism. In fact, Netanyahu reprimanded his own Ambassador to Budapest (Mr. Yosef Amrani) when he publicly protested Orbán’s anti-Jewish rhetoric.

Hungarian officials say that it is unfair to call Orbán an anti-Semite since “Jews are safe” in Hungary. Some might consider this expression a thinly veiled threat. During WWII fascist Hungary ordered Jews into Ghettos “to provide safety” for them.

Orbán praises convicted WWII criminal Albert Wass who murdered Jews, and calls Admiral Horthy, who was complicit in the deportations, „a great statesman.” He also keeps close contact with far-right operatives and several leaders of his own Fidesz party are banned from entering Israel, among them László Kövér, Hungary’s Parliament Speaker.

Ms. Mária Wittner of Fidesz at a Hungarian neo-Nazi rally

In 2017 Orbán invited Ms. Mária Wittner, a Jobbik and Magyar Gárda activist and Vitéz Ákos Szilágyi a far-right Hungarian-American operator to the Fidesz party picnic at the village of Kötcse. It is suspected that Mr. Szilágyi has had contacts with Holocaust denier historian David Irving and also had problems entering Canada in the past. Mr. Szilágyi is a member of the pro-Horthy Vitézi Rend (Sebastian Gorka is also a member) and a leader of the New York-based Széchenyi Society that frequently stages events to celebrate Albert Wass.

Mr. Orbán (middle) with Ms. Wittner and Mr. Szilágyi at Kötcse.

This year, on March 17th, Ms. Katalin Szili, Commissioner to the Prime Minister and Ms. Petra Schmitt, Hungary’s Consul General in Florida organized a similar anti-Semitic Wass event at a Hungarian church in Miami. These Wass events have been vehemently protested by the Wiesenthal Center.

Mr. Szilágyi is a member of the Vitézi Rend is wearing the Horthy insignia.

Mr. Orbán denies that his government promotes anti-Semitism, in fact in a 2012 letter to Rep. Crowley he accused the United States of spreading anti-Semitism in Hungary. He blamed the US-registered neo-Nazi portal kuruc.info but failed to mention that the portal has an office and tax ID in Budapest and is operating freely in the Hungarian capital. What chutzpah!

According to the New York Times Mr. Orbán plays a tricky “Double Game on Anti-Semitism.” He is using communication tricks and clever cover-ups and amazingly these actions receive help from some Hungarian-Americans. (Read NYT article here.)

It is important to emphasize that Orbán’s racist propaganda is rejected by the vast majority of Hungarian Americans. The sporadic anti-Semitic “Hungarian unity” events are always sponsored by Hungarian diplomats and attended by a handful of Hungarian Americans who hope to receive direct financial or other support from the Orbán regime.

It is time to remove the Albert Wass, János Esterházy, Ferenc Koszorús and Miklós Horthy statues and plaques in Hungary and issue an apology to Holocaust survivors and their descendants for the organized falsification of WWII history. We also call on Ambassador Cornstein to support a formal legal action against those who operate kuruc.info in Hungary and have misled US authorities for years about the nature of this site.

György Lázár

***

Watch the quoted PBS NewsHour broadcast here:

17 Comments

  1. Big big difference between Orbán being allowed to visit Israel and the two hate fanning anti semites looking to kiss up in Gaza and make trouble for Israel!
    Correct, ambassador Danny is correct!
    Orbán had respect when entering Israel OR he would not have entered Israel!
    Stop trying to fan the fire!
    I blame the Hungarian jews living and marrying in Hungary! My aunts who returned from Auschwitz said this” my birth country where our families hailed for hundreds of years, threw us out, sold us out, pushed us for 4 days into cattle trains to a sure painful death- why would I ever visit that (Hungary) again or think of living there”?
    That’s the saintly, honest answer!

  2. Karl Pfeifer says:

    Problem described months ago in the
    Journal
    Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs
    Volume 12, 2018 – Issue 3
    Journal homepage

    Israeli Diplomacy
    The Tension between Historical Memory and Realpolitik in Israel’s Foreign Policy
    Sam Sokol
    Pages 311-324 | Published online: 02 Jan 2019https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23739770.2018.1560563

  3. Don Hermiston says:

    Because Orban is not a Globalist but a Nationalist you call him an Anti-Semite. Grow up. All we ever hear from you is cultural Marxist drivel and Neo-Liberal nonsense.

  4. Anti-Soros =/= Anti-Jewish
    Thanks a lot.

    PS. Hungarian government wanted to drop the anti-Semitic (and also anti-Fidesz, which they call “Zsidesz”) website Kuruc. In the meantime, its owners re-registered it to an American address. So now it is protected by the US Constitution. Puszi.

    • To be anti Soros is not the same then Antisemitic. 1 Soros never ever feel Jewish . 2 give every cause U can name it but never to Israel . So? Is he Jewish? By a antisemite he is , but to himself he absolutely not .

  5. Not the same thing . This people never ever questioned Israel. Right to exist .not Orban and not Silvani . The 2 US congress women wanted to go to Israel to give speech and againts the country .

    • Susan
      How about taking some lessons in English ?
      Unfortunately I don’t know of any courses to rectify nonsense writing.

  6. Mr Lazar’s accusation is grounded in well-documented facts. You may or may not agree as to how truthful or useful those facts are to make his case. Instead you throw in big, barely understood labels like globalist, cultural Marxist and neoliberal (never mind that the latter two are in opposing camps!!) to discredit him in the eyes of right wingers like yourself. Go to school, Mr Hermiston.

  7. I’m writing again . I’m living in the USA and right now the Jew hating and Israel hating coming from the far left . Orban maybe corrupt but he is respecting the only Jewish states not sending Jihadist in the country and when he is there not doing propaganda against a small country who wants to survive against among all the Muslims country’s who wants them to disappear.?

  8. Don Hermiston says:

    Poloclub77, The two Congress women have more Semitic blood in them than 90% of the entire Israeli population. Ashkenazi Jews are not Semites. Also, being critical of the Israeli government is not anti-Jewish. When a government such as Israel is committing war crimes they should be called out. The word antisemitism is nothing but a Orwellian term to shut people up.

  9. „In 2017 Orbán invited Ms. Mária Wittner, a Jobbik and Magyar Gárda activist and Vitéz Ákos Szilágyi a far-right Hungarian-American operator to the Fidesz party picnic at the village of Kötcse.“

    My information is that Mária Wittner is in the Fidesz Party (Fidesz deputy?). Is that right?

    • DK
      Yes, Wittner has been a Fid MP for many years.
      She is a lumpen bum that never improved a notch, spewing alternatively hatred and nonsense in poor Hungarian.
      Being at the time and place she got caught up in the street events of 1956 without understanding what’s going on. Bad, later good, luck she got unfairly sentenced by the kàdàr regime as she never held weapon (but for a photo) and never did much, but help around. Her elevation by Orbàn was part of the rewriting history toward “the Pesti sràcok” fiction.

    • Sorry:
      Wittner was a Fid MP ….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *