Focus

Armed Hungarian soldiers on the border with Serbia, in Röszke, on September 14th. Photo:Balázs Mohai / MTI.

Does Germany’s reversal on refugees vindicate Orbán?

On Sunday, Germany suspended the rules of the Schengen Area. The very underpinnings of the European Union, namely hindrance free travel within the zone, were shaken, with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government reintroducing varying degrees of border controls along Germany’s frontier with nine EU countries. The most stringent controls are between Germany and Austria and traffic jams extending four kilometres along […]

by · September 14, 2015 · Focus
Birthright Hungary participants meets with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and other Fidesz officials during their stay in Budapest. Photo: Birthright Hungary.

Ideas from Israel: A look at Finkelstein and Birthright Hungary

Hungary’s Fidesz government has long been an admirer of the Israeli right, and of the Likud party in specific. This is an open secret in Hungarian right-wing circles. Despite the Fidesz party’s occasional antisemitism — aimed to placate the more extreme elements of the Hungarian right –Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his inner circle is quite fond of the language, […]

by · August 22, 2015 · Focus
Mayor Orosz, in his signature military fatigues. Photo: Hir24.

Érpatak: a Hungarian town living under far-right terror

I imagine that most of our readers have not been to, and perhaps never even heard of the northeastern Hungarian town of Érpatak (population: 1,700). The small town is run by far-right mayor Mihály Zoltán Orosz, who made a national name for himself by causing a scene at last year’s Gay Pride parade in Budapest, where he showed up dressed […]

by · August 3, 2015 · Focus
Dr.Yama Nayab, sits with his daughter in Szabadka (Hungarian-dominated northern Serbia), waiting to cross into Hungary. Dr. Nayab was a surgeon in Afghanistan. Photo: Sima Diab/The Guardian.

It’s in Hungary’s interest to accept more refugees and immigrants

I increasingly believe that it is in Hungary’s enlightened self-interest to begin accepting many more of the Syrian and Afghan refugees, rather than stoking fear within Hungarian society and creating a siege mentality, which seems to be the tactic du jour. There is the humanitarian argument, where one might reasonably expect a greater degree of compassion and understanding from Hungarian […]

by · July 29, 2015 · Focus
Afghan and Syrian refugees arrive in Hungary by the hundreds each day. Photo: Molnár Edvárd/MTI.

Budapest residents organize aid for refugees through social media

Refugees from Syria and Afghanistan transiting through Hungary have become an everyday sight for Budapest residents, especially those living close to the Keleti railway station and major squares in the 7th and 8th Districts. Police seem to be focused on removing them as quickly as possible from these areas (out of sight, out of mind), but a growing civilian ‘army’ […]

by · July 26, 2015 · Focus
A scene from the 2006 German film The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen).

Hungary’s Orbán government invests in spying technology for use abroad

Since November 2010, Hungary’s Orbán government has spent over 571,000 euros to purchase highly sophisticated spying technology from an Italian firm called the Hacking Team, and the software is used to bug cell phones and hack into private computers, according to a report published by the liberal 444.hu news site.  The data on the Hacking Team’s servers was stolen by a group of hackers this […]

by · July 9, 2015 · Focus
The Said and the Unsaid / maryampaintings.com

RCA Viktor: His master’s voice in Canada – From the medium to the message (5)

You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last, But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast, Yonder stands your orphan with his gun, Crying like a fire in the sun Look out, the saints are comin’ through And it’s all over now, Baby Blue. -Bob Dylan Overview Man is a tool making animal […]

by · July 8, 2015 · Focus
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Hungary’s new left and the Greek referendum: Today Athens, tomorrow Budapest!

Greek voters rejected the dictates of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in much larger numbers than initially anticipated. The decision was reasonable, understandable and, given the circumstances, it can certainly be appreciated. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government received a remarkable mandate to continue the country’s economic and humanitarian war of independence. The results of the referendum […]

by · July 6, 2015 · Focus
Hear My Silence / Farshad Sanaee.

RCA Viktor: His master’s voice in Canada (4)

Inside the Boom-Box–The Technical Data on RCA Viktor’s 2015 Sound System How does Hungary’s ruling political Party, FIDESZ, use the language of political deception to get what it wants? How does Viktor Orbán’s government manipulate public opinion in Canada and around the world? How does it use the language of love and harmony, to generate applause, as it destroys the […]

by · June 24, 2015 · Focus
György Aczél

How an iconic Hungarian communist “found” his Jewish identity in Israel…

In many contemporary Hungarian cultural circles, a chill runs through the air whenever the name György Aczél is mentioned. Mr. Aczél was Hungary’s minister of culture and the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party’s (MSZMP) powerful culture “tsar” when it came to the arts and to the limited freedom of expression that characterized Goulash Communism, starting in the sixties. Hungary’s most prominent […]

by · June 20, 2015 · Focus