July 1, 2018 – NO POGROM HERE

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There are areas of Europe where the slow pogrom is not taking place. Counter-intuitively, it is areas of Eastern Europe where Jews have found homes with far less strife than in Western Europe and the UK. David Goldman writes on Hungary. 

Last Friday evening I put on a kippah and walked half an hour across Budapest to the Keren Or synagogue maintained by the Budapest Chabad. After violent attacks on Jews in German streets,  the leaders of Germany’s Jewish community warned Jews last month  not to wear a kippah or any other visible sign of Jewish identification in public. The French community issued such warnings years ago. Belgian TV could not find a single Jew in Brussels willing to wear a kippah in public.  I walked across Budapest four times (for Friday evening and Saturday daytime services), and no-one looked at my kippah twice.  At services I met Hasidim who had walked to synagogue with kaftan and shtreimel, the traditional round fur hat. Whatever residual anti-Semitism remains among Hungarians, it doesn’t interfere with the open embrace of Jewish life. There are no risks to Jews because there are very few Muslim migrants.

On any given Friday evening, the Keren Or synagogue—one of several Chabad houses in Budapest—hosts two hundred people for dinner. Jewish life isn’t just flourishing in Budapest. It’s roaring with ruach, and livened by a growing Israeli presence. About 100,000 Israelis have dual Hungarian citizenship; many own property in the country and vote in Hungarian elections.

Prime Minister Orban has been a close friend of Israeli leader Binyamin Netanyahu for twenty years. When Orban first was elected prime minister in 1998 in the thick of an economic crisis, he asked then-Finance Minister Netanyahu for help, and Netanyahu lent him some of his staff to shape Hungary’s economic program.  I asked everyone at Keren Or who spoke English what they thought of Orban. In that gathering the prime minister would have polled 100%. …

… On April 8, Hungarians re-returned Orban to office with a two-thirds majority. He had served as prime minister for the past eight years, and has a lot to show for his efforts. Hungary’s economy is booming, with growth at 4%, unemployment at 3.9%, and a pronounced labor shortage. Budapest is a different city than the dowdy capital I last visited six years ago. New high-rises are sprouting, the streets are clogged with expensive cars, a new upscale restaurant opens every day and visible signs of prosperity are ubiquitous. Orban’s enemies do not allege that the vote was rigged, but they complain that his government put its thumb on the scales of state media to influence public opinion. It would seem that Orban’s previous eight years in office would have given the voters sufficient information.

Orban is also popular because he bucked the explicit directives of the European Commission in Brussels and refused to accept an Hungarian quota of Middle Eastern migrants (not refugees—three-fifths of the millions of Middle Easterners who surged into Europe in 2016 are economic migrants, by the Commission’s own reckoning). Along with the governments of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Hungary formed the Visegrad Group and remains intransigent. Hungarians supported Orban, just as an absolute majority of Americans supported then-candidate Donald Trump’s promise to ban immigration from Middle Eastern terror states. The Soros foundations campaigned for free migration, with a budget of a size unimaginable in American terms. …

… In Western Europe, the political class hates Donald Trump viscerally. To the beleaguered nationalists of Eastern Europe, Trump is an inspiration. Americans in general and Jews in particular should remember who their friends are.

Like the Czechs and Poles, Hungary’s government worries that the United States may grow weary of its commitment to NATO. “You have to show strength to the Russians or they put their foot on your neck,” a senior official told me. Hungary also worries that the Merkel government in Germany is rolling over to Russia, giving lip-service to sanctions while increasing its dependence on Russian gas exports through the Nordstream II pipeline. Hungary does business with Russia, which invaded and occupied the country after World War II. The West shouldn’t provoke Russia, Budapest believes, but it should deal with Putin from a position of strength.




You’re really going to like Hungary when you learn it’s the bad boy of the EU. The story from Spiked OnLine

Brussels fears Hungary because it refuses to bow to imperial technocracy.

According to the political establishment that runs the EU, Hungary has become a xenophobic, authoritarian society. The Hungarian government and in particular the prime minister, Viktor Orban, are continually denounced for their alleged violations of EU values. The mainstream Western media have picked up the message that it is okay to hate Hungary. They give the impression that Hungary is a totalitarian and viciously anti-Semitic society in which critics of the regime are silenced and the government dominates the media.

Calls to expel Hungary from the EU by pro-EU voices in the Guardian and elsewhere echo an intolerant outlook that is growing within the Brussels oligarchy. Recently, members of the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee voted for a resolution that says the situation in Hungary constitutes ‘a clear risk of a serious breach’ of the EU’s values. 

Denunciations of the Hungarian government are often justified on the basis that this is a nation that refuses to go along with the migration policies that German chancellor Angela Merkel effectively imposed on the continent. Other Hungarian sins cited by the ‘Kick Hungary out of the EU’ lobby include a new law that makes life difficult for NGOs funded by George Soros. …

… It is paradoxical that supporters of the EU’s line on Hungary believe they are upholding the values of tolerance and democracy. In truth, they cannot tolerate a nation that has democratically decided to adopt values that are different to their own. The EU is very selective in the way it interprets its own values. Rhetorically, EU ideologues celebrate diversity, yet they are bitterly hostile to those who demand that diversity should also be applied to the realm of values. This is why the campaign against Budapest unabashedly claims that it has the right to impose its values on Hungary whether that nation and its people like it or not.

Since the re-election of the Orban government in April, hostility to Hungary has morphed into a highly politicised and irrational Magyarophobia. The EU establishment regards the massive mandate endorsing Orban’s policies as a direct challenge to its way of life. Isolating Hungary and containing its influence on the political life of other European member states has become a priority for the EU leadership. Scaremongering about the return of fascism in Hungary is really a way of imposing a cordon sanitaire around that country. Thankfully, support for the ideal of sovereignty is not confined to the people of one nation. Hungary’s challenge to the EU’s imperial ambitions may well resonate throughout the continent.



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