antisemitism,  Europe

Antisemitic Hungarian “journalist” attacks Nick Cohen and András Schiff

Earlier this week we linked to an Observer piece by Nick Cohen about ugly political trends in Hungary since the righwing Fidesz party under Viktor Orban came to power.

Now an antisemitic Hungarian “journalist” named Zsolt Bayer has responded by describing the author as “[a] stinking excrement called something like Cohen from somewhere in England.” Bayer also attacks the Hungarian-born concert pianist András Schiff, who wrote a letter to The Washington Post expressing concern about turning over the presidency of the European Union to Hungary:

The latest news is indeed alarming. Tolerance levels are extremely low. Racism, discrimination against the Roma, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, chauvinism and reactionary nationalism – these symptoms are deeply worrying. They evoke memories that we have hoped were long forgotten. Many people are scared.

The latest media laws are just the last link in a sequence of shocking events.

Bayer continued ominously:

Most people think that this is something new and that war like that didn’t take place before. Nonsense. There is nothing new under the sun. Unfortunately, they were not all buried up to their necks in the forest of Orgovány.

Blogger Eva S. Balogh explained:

Orgovány, a small village on the Great Plains, was the place of massacres committed by the leaders of the Hungarian White Terror in 1919-1920. In plain language, Bayer is expressing his sorrow that not all the Jews were killed in those days.

Bayer is one of the founders of Fidesz and according to Balogh:

Despite his venomous writing, the old Fidesz leadership never disassociated itself from Bayer. Yearly there is a Fidesz birthday bash which is proudly attended by the founders, among them Zsolt Bayer. A few years ago after a particularly outrageous anti-Semitic attack, I think on Imre Kertész, Viktor Orbán made a special effort to be photographed with Bayer as they were amiably enjoying some private jokes. It was Orbán’s way of saying “Bayer is our boy, we stand by him.”

The newspaper which published Bayer’s disgusting attack, Magyar Hirlap, is a strong backer of Fidesz.

(Hat tip: Karl Pfeifer)