Accusations of the Israeli occupation of Hungary

This is a guest post by Karl Pfeifer:

Hungary will elect a new parliament on April 11th and it looks as if the big völkisch opposition party Fidesz under the leadership of Viktor Orbán will be the strongest party, possibly even winning an outright majority. While there is obvious anti-semitism in Fidesz-related media, some of its journalists are attacking the national-socialist Jobbik party, which is leading an aggressive anti-semitic election campaign partly directed against its former godparents Fidesz. “Fidesz” is referred to as “Zsidesz” in Jobbik newspeak, i.e. the “Jewish” party. One of Fidesz leading anti-semitic journalists is Zsolt Bayer, for many years, as he admitted himself in an open letter addressed to Jobbik’s leader Gábor Vona, a member of the extreme right Turul-group. Now Zsolt Bayer states that he considers the even more extreme anti-semitism of Jobbik as shocking, and reminds Vona and Krisztina Morvai, Jobbik’s MEP, how Fidesz helped them in the past. Vona, no fool, answered with an open letter addressed to Bayer’s “boss” Viktor Orbán.

At a rally on Hungary’s national holiday commemorating the revolution against the Habsburgs on March 15th 1848 the Calvinist minister Lóránt Hegedüs Jr. raved against the apparent Israeli intention of occupying Hungary and, of course, against the Israeli “apartheid regime”.

The fantasy of an Israeli occupation of Hungary is based on a humorous remark by Israeli president Shimon Peres about the prowess of Israeli real estate agents: “We are buying Manhattan, Hungary, Romania and Poland.”

One of Jobbik’s election posters shows Shimon Peres with the Star of David and promises that Israel will not occupy Hungary.

Barikád, Jobbik’s weekly, depicts a prominent statue of a Catholic saint on a hill in Budapest with a menorah instead of a cross. Barikád calls on the inhabitants of Budapest to arise and asks its readers if they want to have a Jewish dominated Budapest. Karl Lueger, the anti-Semitic mayor of Vienna who hated Jews and Hungarians alike, once called Budapest “Judapest”. Jobbik seems to follow suit. Not unlike the Arrow Cross party of 1939 which was especially successful in Social democratic strongholds, when Social democrats suffered a crushing defeat. An outcome predicted again 71 years later.

Hungarian anti-semites who propagate the existence of an Israeli plan to occupy Hungary are either cynical or suffering from acute paranoia. Yet no Fidesz politician has commented on this madness in public for fear of losing voters. Fidesz tries to depict itself as a party of the middle between (the almost extinct) left and the extreme right. However, if Fidesz does not win a crushing victory at the elections and does not have an overall majority, it will have to decide who will be its coalition partner in government.