Goodbye – and a warm welcome

  • November 15, 2023
  • István
  • 45 Comments

Dear friends, after I announced no longer to host Hungarian News our long-time contributor tappanch asked me to transfer this site. Within the next few hours I will change the needed details and send tappanch the details to take over. It was a pleasure to be your host and wish tappanch more luck than I had to fill this site with more life.

István

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Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
November 15, 2023 17:47

I have been periodically reading the posts on this site as it winds down. I am leaving for Hungary tomorrow and likely will not be commenting after I get to Esztergom before the shutdown. The war in Gaza is sort of overwhelming Chicago.

We have an Arabic speaking population of about 150,000 in the metropolitan area. We have around 420,300 people in Jewish households in the metropolitan area. Relations here are deeply frayed and there was a near riot at a city council meeting that was to vote on a solidarity resolution with Israel.

The vote in favor of the resolution took place without an audience after the chambers were cleared of protesters by Chicago police. It’s a pretty tragic situation and to be honest I simply don’t respond to text messages from either my long time Jewish and Arabic friends relating to Gaza or the killings across the border from Gaza in Israel.

In our Hungarian Catholic church here in Chicago I see no evidence of either a rise in antisemitism or rage against Palestinians. This issue is avoided, I do know that many organized trips to the Holy land have been cancelled by Catholic groups but Christian Evangelicals seem to still be continuing with tours.

Hopefully if some of the long time commenters end up gravitating to another site please post a link prior to the shutdown.

tappanch
tappanch
November 19, 2023 06:35

In a new (Nov 18) Washington Post opinion peace, president Biden again calls for a “two-state solution” to make eternal peace.

Well, the “two-state solution” expression is equivalent to the “final solution” aka “Endlösung”.

Why?

As a full state, “Palestine” would have the right to invite other Arab troops or Iranian troops to finish off the 10-mile wide Israel.

Israel forced the 10,000 Jews out of the Gaza strip in 2005 hoping to create a peaceful Gaza strip. It left behind an airport, a harbor, and bio agriculture.

Gaza became an almost full state.

Observers from the European Union were supposed to monitor the Egyptian border to prevent the smuggling of weapons.

When Hamas took over the Gaza, the European observers simply fled in panic.

Missiles fired from Gaza to Israel:
2006: 1,000
2008: 2,000+
2012: 1,500+
2014: 4,000+
2018: 1,000+
2019: 1,000+
2021: 3,500+
2023: 10,000+

So much about the success of the “Israeli blockade”.

Even during the intensive missile launching periods, Israel was providing Gaza with most of the electricity and some of the potable water. Every day, hundreds of trucks crossed into Gaza from Israel.
Doesn’t it sound crazy?

Imagine Britain giving oil to Nazi Germany while the Nazis were bombing England.

Imagine the US calling for a “cease fire” or a “long pause” in order to alleviate the suffering of the German civilians in April of 1945.

Don Kichote
Don Kichote
November 19, 2023 14:23
Reply to  tappanch

The two-state solution has been around as an idea since 1947, if I’m not mistaken. Israel is the occupying power in GAZA, which would be like the Allies cutting off water, food, electricity and medical aid to Germany. Another solution, that the Palestinians in Israel should be allowed to vote and have political representation, seems illusory. It is said that Netanyahu supported Hamas for political reasons, to stir up hatred against the Palestinians. This has allowed him to stay in power. Ergo, the only solution for Israel is to annihilate or expel the Palestinians. But the neighbouring states don’t want to let the Palestinians in. Just like when the Jews had to flee and were turned away by some states like Switzerland.

Besides, the Palestinians had their last chance to vote in 2006. The idea that all Palestinians are Hamas terrorists defies common sense. According to Palestinian figures, more than 10,000 people have been killed, including 6,000 children in Gaza alone. In the West Bank, Palestinians are killed or displaced every day without a single rocket being fired into Israel. This is pure racism.

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
November 19, 2023 19:38
Reply to  tappanch

I am a subscriber to the Washington Post and read the Biden opinion piece. It was obvious that President Biden did not even write out even an outline of that extensive piece. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/11/18/joe-biden-gaza-hamas-putin/.

President Biden no longer has the intellectual capability to draft something as complex as what appeared in the Post. Probably even worse was the fact he gave no acknowledgment to his ghost writers in the article and it was written in the first person using phrases like “ I have also been clear that the United States will do what is necessary to defend U.S. troops” or “ I have been emphatic with Israel’s leaders that extremist violence against Palestinians in the West Bank must stop and that those committing the violence must be held accountable” it goes on and on like that.

It has become obvious to many Americans that President Biden is experiencing cognitive decline and many Democrats are concerned Biden could be defeated by the equally dysfunctional Trump. See https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/columns/2023/11/17/florida-poll-indicates-most-think-biden-too-old-to-run-for-president/71611112007/.

Many Democrats also question Biden’s handling of the Israeli invasion of Gaza for example in a November 9 article by AP titled “Many Democrats sour on Biden’s handling of the Israel-Palestine conflict.”

This fake personal essay by Biden will not impress many people..

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
November 19, 2023 20:06

Actually within the last several hours this story came out https://www.nbcnews.com/ showing a dramatic decline in Biden’s job approval ratings directly linked to the war in Gaza. It is a very tragic situation for Biden at the moment.

Michael Detreköy
Michael Detreköy
November 19, 2023 23:46

Whatever you might like to attribute to Biden – or not – It remains a fact, that 74 years of on-off Isreali-Palestinian conflict negotiations only resulted in short, temporarily calmer, periods.
Whatevever any US President has had to do with that stand-off makes little or no difference in the long run.
The people who want to fight are there and they are armed accordingly.
If Trump is ever taken to his words about Palestine, His words will be burned.to the ground.

Last edited 3 months ago by Michael Detreköy
Jan
Jan
November 25, 2023 10:16

Honestly, I doubt the intellectual faculties of every politician of the republicans, let alone their leaders.
Presidents do around 400 speeches a year, do you think that Biden sits down “after work” behind his desk to write them? It is the old thing from the republicans, going for the man because they have had no political alternatives for decades.

wolf
wolf
November 18, 2023 21:47

The new campaign by the Fidesz honchos, sorry the Hun government:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/nov/18/hungarian-government-viktor-orban-campaign-renews-antisemitism-concerns
Remember the pictures of Soros and Juncker?
Now there are shown Soros’s son and Ms Von der Leyen.
Will this help Hungary to get the billions from the EU?

Ferenc
November 19, 2023 22:45
Reply to  wolf

The concerns about antisemitic narratives by the mighty lidur and ‘is campaign team [Antal and his boys(!) and girls(?)] are valid.
BUT why now start a “National C*nst*p*tion”? Imho because elections are coming next year spring. And indeed electionS [plural!], because European and Municipality elections will be held simultaneously.
Note that the previous municipality elections were held 2019.October, so the results of the coming elections to be held 2024.June [!] will have to wait 4-5 months before being implemented in the local assemblies… 

Basically this should be another reason to keep the “HU billions” in the “EU vault”!

Last edited 3 months ago by Ferenc
Michael Detreköy
Michael Detreköy
November 20, 2023 00:22
Reply to  Ferenc

Well,Hungarian elections being what they are and the old anti-semitic national sentiment being what it’s been for over a century, I think the lidur-in-chief has things very much under control. Allleged jewish.influenced votes certainly won’t count, anyway, they could easily be filtered out as it is.
Official Hungary looks forward.to reforming Europe (!) and the (not yet stretched right arm) almighty lidur will consider that a green light for going further, Mussolini-style.

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
November 20, 2023 15:29
Reply to  Ferenc

This Bloomberg article https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2023-11-20/how-the-populists-learned-to-love-their-nations-enemies comes very close to arguing the EU and the USA are working to overthrow Orban. That clearly is how it was interpreted by the Russians today in their state controlled media. Really Orban has been arguing that line for several years now, Trump actually argues that the so called US deep state hates both Orban and himself because they are just honest nationalists representing the interests of their countries.

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
November 20, 2023 15:01

As regards Tappanch taking the lead for this site I am honestly impressed he did that. As for the possibility that there can be no lasting peace in Palestine/Israel no matter the US President in charge, I think the level of military aid the USA provides consistently to Israel is not leveraged to forcing either a two state solution or the much more unlikely solution of a Democratic secular Palestine meaning the formal end of the Jewish state. The United States has given Israel more aid than any other nation since World War II, granting it more than $260 billion as of October 2023, with the bulk being military aid.

Part of the dramatic increase here in the USA in antisemitism is clearly a growing belief that the Israel lobby controls US foreign policy and it is conspiratorial in its control. That concern is transformed into the formula provided by the Protocols of the Elder of Zion into a very frightening reality of overt antisemitism.

That is a reality and makes it very close to impossible to maintain relationships with both my Jewish friends and Arabic friends here in Chicago if the war in Gaza is discussed at all.

wolf
wolf
November 20, 2023 19:19

Congratulations to István and many thanks to both of you, especially tappanch for “taking over” in these difficult times!
István, it wasn’t your fault that not so many comments appeared – times are really crazy, especially in Hungary right now.
I have to admit that – not only what they like to call the Dollar leftI’ve also thought about closing my mouth – Hungary is …
My last hope is that European elections, especially for Parliament, might show Fidesz that they really are considered lunatics by a clear majority, not only by the “Dollar Left”.
Of course it might happen that the right wing gets so strong in many EU countries that they might be needed for governing, though I hope this won’t be the case.

Reader
Reader
November 21, 2023 17:30

Sincere thanks, István and thanks also to Tappanch for taking on responsibility for the site. I hope that we can all make valuable contributions to the continuing discussion.

tappanch
tappanch
November 21, 2023 22:33

Hi everybody,

I still have to learn how to manage this website.
I apologize for possible technical glitches in advance.

tappanch

Pantanifan
Pantanifan
November 22, 2023 08:41
Reply to  tappanch

Thanks for taking on responsibility for this site!

tappanch
tappanch
November 21, 2023 22:41

The new bill just submitted
to protect the “national”, i.e. Fides sovereignty and
the new amendment to the “Basic Law” are here:

https://www.parlament.hu/irom42/06221/06221.pdf
https://www.parlament.hu/irom42/06222/06222.pdf

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
November 22, 2023 14:37
Reply to  tappanch

This Magyar Nemzet article https://magyarnemzet.hu/belfold/2023/11/az-orszaggyules-elott-a-szuverenitasvedelmi-torvenycsomag-ime-a-reszletek makes it very clear that virtually all Hungarian opposition parties leaders could be sentenced to prison terms. The Magyar Nemzet article specifically named the prime ministerial candidate of the united opposition, Péter Márki-Zay as being in violation of the proposed amendments to the basic law in accepting funds from American organization Action for Democracy and a Swiss foundation.

These funds according to the Fidesz mouthpiece Magyar Nemzet “were clearly used by the foreign principals to gain political influence and to influence the will of the Hungarian electorate, which not only exhausts the concept of political corruption, but also violates and threatens the sovereignty of Hungary.” The EU and Ursula von der Leyen are now faced with a huge challenge.

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
November 22, 2023 14:50

This Telex article discusses the opposition’s response to the proposed new law https://telex.hu/belfold/2023/11/22/szuverenitasvedelmi-torveny-ellenzek-sajtotajekoztato.

Michael Detreköy
Michael Detreköy
November 22, 2023 20:23

It will be interesting to see how the EU reacts to this.
If EU was Russia-Belarus, Orbán would never have gotten this far, but of course he knows that.

wolf
wolf
November 23, 2023 14:23

How others react to the new antisemitic Fidesz camapaign:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/nov/18/hungarian-government-viktor-orban-campaign-renews-antisemitism-concerns
The Guradian author thinks that the Hun government has given up on the EU billions they’ve been waiting for.

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
November 24, 2023 15:24
Reply to  wolf

See comment above.

wolf
wolf
November 22, 2023 18:09

A letter from Putin’s best friend to the leaders of the EU:
https://www.spiegel.de/ausland/ungarn-viktor-orban-droht-eu-mit-veto-zur-ukraine-politik-a-42f7ee90-733d-4879-8b5d-9b5eb585497d
Maybe someone finds an English version of this?

wolf
wolf
November 22, 2023 18:14
Reply to  wolf

And he just visited Putin’s best Swiss friend, the most (in)famous Swiss right winger:
https://hungarytoday.hu/prime-minister-viktor-orban-in-switzerland-for-talks/

Jan
Jan
November 24, 2023 12:52

Thanks, István for the past years, and thank you Tappanch for taking over.
I am positively surprised.

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
November 24, 2023 15:38

Responding to Wolf below. The current legislation being put forward by Orban does not explicitly target Hungarian Jews really. It’s focus I think is on the EU and US’s attempts to support anti-authoritarian currents in Hungary.

Clearly Orban is in a strong alliance rhetorically with Netanyahu over the destruction of Hamas in Gaza. Which actually threatens Orban’s efforts to make nice with Erdoğan who is now a leading opponent of Israel’s attempt to purge Gaza of Hamas.

Orban’s foreign policy decisions are a great mystery to me in terms of contradictions.

Michael Detreköy
Michael Detreköy
November 24, 2023 21:58

Orbán takes great care to appear unpredictable, wrongfooting both friend and foe.
Thiat makes it virtually impossible to make a rational or informed, doctrine-based analysis of his foreign politics. So much so, that assuming unpredictability looks like the highest priority. But since he doesn’t invest much by way of taking the (personally) higher risks of going directly against those with whom he holds personal sympathies, the unpredictability could also be seen as a product of an unconstrained desire to draw attention and find entertainment in “safer” gambling.

Reader
Reader
November 26, 2023 12:51

Yes, Fidesz politics full of contradictions and ambiguities but that’s part of the strategy as it makes it difficult to pin it down, the present focus on ‘sovereignty’ (whatever that means) is a clear example. It’s not plausible that Fideszniks and their supporters are unaware of the underlying anti-semitic tropes at work in some of their propaganda. The important questions concern how this is used to preserve their power.

wolf
wolf
November 25, 2023 20:29

Funny parallel developments around Europe:
The PISser party is still the strongest in Poland – but without a majority in parliament and nobody wants to cooperate with them.
A similar situation developed in the Netherlands with Wilders – who is a friend of Fidesz.
And the Swiss SVP is also the strongest but everybody else hates them. O1G just visited their boss who owns the Weltwoche, seems they are friends too.
And the list gets longer …

Michael Detreköy
Michael Detreköy
November 25, 2023 23:01
Reply to  wolf

Could be interesting to know how much Fidesz invested in the Duch and Swiss election campaigns.
Perhaps Szijjártó’s travel itineary could provide a few clues.

Jan
Jan
November 26, 2023 16:39
Reply to  wolf

The development in the Netherlands was foreseeable. The right-wing was always there, even in numbers. Wilders has put some of his crazy things in the fridge (for later if he gets the chance) and suddenly, he looked reasonable and was able to make immigration the big topic of the campaign. The right-wingers of Ruttes VVD and some other small right-wing parties chose the “reasonable” Wilders. There was no need for help from outside. The slogan from Wilders was “Holland for the Dutch” Can you imagine this?
Now there are many political games going on, and it is questionable if Wilders finds a majority in parliament for a coalition.
Wilder’s party already took part in some provincial governments. Here he had to sign a contract that the local government which his party is part of respects Article 1 of the Dutch constitution
The Article 1 goes as follows:
“All persons in the Netherlands shall be treated equally in equal circumstances. Discrimination on the grounds of religion, belief, political opinion, race or sex or on any other grounds whatsoever shall not be permitted”
Did you know that his party has only one member?
Geert Wilders.

Last edited 3 months ago by Jan
Michael Detreköy
Michael Detreköy
November 26, 2023 17:54
Reply to  Jan

If Wilders’ party is a one-man operation, he will be under pressure to form a party organization.
Being on the extreme side, he will attract the more extreme types, but depend on attracting experienced people from elsewhere, for any level of functionality in parliament. In a free-press country, that is a sure recipe for troubles and turmoil ahead, typically costng voter support.

Jan
Jan
November 26, 2023 18:23

Yes, he has no experienced “rulers”.
The two parties who are dancing with him now are also newcomers The NSC “New Social Contract” just founded in August this year only has one experienced politician: Pieter Omzigt.
The rest are “topic experts”, so only have a clue about one special thing.
The “BBB” was founded in 2019 by Caroline v.d. Plas an agricultural journalist and leader of the party. They don’t even have experts.
The party that could save the “buli” is the VVD from Rutte. But today the new president of the VVD Yesilgöz excluded being part of the government. She also has trouble because around 80% of the VVD party members want the VVD to form a coalition with Wilders.
I already bought some popcorn for the coming period.

Michael Detreköy
Michael Detreköy
November 26, 2023 20:17
Reply to  Jan

How much media coverage does the 3B chairwoman have?
If it’s frequent, giving her regular/daily opportunities to nail down a divisive narrative between “the plowfields” and the “salons of parliament”, she could become a major vote-magnet.
Considering the importance of agriculture in northern EU politics, she could perhaps be able to build a stronger organization?

Jan
Jan
November 27, 2023 01:02

She is nothing to worry about.

Michael Detreköy
Michael Detreköy
November 28, 2023 05:31
Reply to  Jan

If you say so, it’s not something I would argue against.
But we must not be blind to the effects of combined tactics by the far right, during the last twenty years in Europe.
They gathered and continue to do so, votes in increasing numbers.
Spreading over marginal parties helps camouflage the gains, which add up on two different , but very easily fusioned accounts:
Immigration/religion
and widening gaps between rural and metropolitan regions.
I’m keeping the obvious joker of old, traditional predjudices out of the equation for now, but that must be considered a dark horse, still in the race.

tappanch
tappanch
November 28, 2023 09:39

State Social Security Expenditures (early estimates for 2022) in the EU
as % of the GDP

(without Greece, Netherlands and Romania)

Health care:

#1: France 10.0%
#2: Germany 9.7%
[Iceland: 9.4%]
[Switzerland 8.8%]
#3: Slovenia: 8.6%
#4: Austria: 8.5%

EU27 average: 8.1%

Hungary: 4.7%
Ireland: 4.6%
Bulgaria: 4.2%

comment image
———————-

Old age social security:

#1: Italy: 14.2%
#2: Austria: 13.2%
#3: France & Finland: 12.7%

EU27 average: 11.1%

Slovakia: 7.3%
Hungary, Latvia, Luxembourg: 7.2%
Estonia, Lithuania: 6.4%
Ireland: 3.2%

Source:
https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/728032/11469646/2022-early-estimates.xlsx

tappanch
tappanch
November 28, 2023 10:23

2024 Hungarian budget plan

Media Authority: 58 billion HUF
State television & radio: 142 billion HUF

Source:
pp 9059 & 9060
Magyar Közlöny 2023. évi 169. szám
2023. november 27.
https://magyarkozlony.hu/

tappanch
tappanch
November 28, 2023 12:09

István, if you are reading this…

How can I pay for the continuation of hungarian.news ? (Deadline: December 12)

I do not have bitcoins, I do not have roupi seselwa either.

istván
istván
November 29, 2023 09:01
Reply to  tappanch

Login to customers area, go to invoices. Click onto the bill you want to pay and change there the way you want to pay. Bitcoin does not disclose who you are, but through pay pal you also can use a credit card for example.

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
November 28, 2023 16:46

My personal interpretation of this article https://magyarnemzet.hu/belfold/2023/11/kalman-olga-sakkot-adott-a-tobbi-ellenzeki-partnak is that Fidesz is plotting to remove control of the government of Budapest from members of the opposition in the future. Possibly using the new amendments to the basic law that Tappanch linked to.

tappanch
tappanch
November 30, 2023 12:46

The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe is against changing the electoral laws within a year of an election.

Orban & his party are about to change the local election law half a year before the local election to make the expected opposition victory less decisive in Budapest.

They will probably make the bill (see below) a law today (November 30) with permitting almost no debate about it.

https://www.parlament.hu/irom42/06219/06219.pdf

Istvan (Chicago)
Istvan (Chicago)
November 30, 2023 15:54

The Russians in multiple languages are promoting comments made by Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto at a press conference following a meeting of foreign ministers of the NATO-Ukraine Council. Szijjarto called for an end to deliveries of lethal aid to Ukraine, the Russians actually quoted him:
“Ukraine is fighting for itself, for its own territorial integrity, its own sovereignty and its own independence, which we value very much, because it is a heroic fight, of course, but I say again, this is not our war, which is why we reject any approach that starts from this.” So effectively he made it clear Hungary recognizes Ukraine was invaded by Russia but refuses to support its defense in any way.

The Russians also emphasized Szijjarto‘s comments on the situation of the Hungarian speaking minority in Transcarpathia. He saw the suppressing the right of the nearly 150,000 ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine to speak their own language by introducing laws requiring that Ukrainian be spoken in public life, school, the media, as well as in offices as a disqualifying act for future NATO membership.

Gergely Gulyás, minister in charge of the Prime Minister Orban’s Office said yesterday said that Hungary is only asking for the situation before 2017 to be restored for the Hungarians living there, but he sees little chance of that at the moment.

Both Gulyás and Szijjarto argue the laws passed in Ukraine protecting the linguistic rights of Hungarians in Ukraine are meaningless because they are not being implemented. I tend to believe Putin has indicated somehow to Orban if Russia is victorious over Ukraine territorial concessions will be made to Hungary in the areas bordering Hungary.

Michael Detreköy
Michael Detreköy
November 30, 2023 17:28

As always, with Fidesz’ forein politics, the things said by government representatives are meant to provoke and stir up harsh reactions. That dynamic has fed the imaginations of Fidesz’ voters for many years now, and always provides the mighty leader opportunities for confirming that alleged anti-Hungarian forces are at work, destroying the national identity.
But the biggest concern must be the security of continued Russian energy, on which Hungary is totally dependent.
I imagine Putin might have indicated to Orbán, that if he plays along on the rhetoric and takes a critical, antagonist stance in Nato and EU, it will help secure the energy supply.
Since they both owe a large part of their existence to media-control, helping each other uphold the images of demonic, common national enemies, works well for them.