Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations is a new documentary film just released in theatres in the US. The film includes segments focusing on the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, anti-Semitism in the UK Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn, anti-Semitic attacks in France and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s institutionalized anti-Semitic propaganda.
The film director Andrew Goldberg says that anti-Semitism is on the rise because of populist politicians and a polarized political environment that is amplified by social media. “I see today’s society becoming more fractured and angrier,” he said. The film features US President Bill Clinton, Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt, conservative columnist George Will and many others.
There is nothing new about Viktor Orbán’s cynical antisemitism. Orbán frequently declares “zero tolerance” in English and continues his appalling racist and antisemitic policies in Hungarian. It is revolting that leaders of his Fidesz party often speak highly of pro-Hitler Hungarian politicians and personalities of the last century.
Beyond the regime’s sick obsession with Holocaust survivor US financier George Soros, Hungary officially celebrates many WWII-era Hungarian fascists. “My time as US Ambassador to Hungary was a four-year window into some of the darkest corners of anti-Semitism.” – wrote Eleni Kounalakis currently Lieutenant Governor of California.
Just recently the government named a prominent anti-Semite Ms. Beatrix Siklósi to head the most widely listened public radio, Kossuth Radio. In an open letter, Jewish organizations protested the appointment accusing her of spreading anti-Semitic views on social media. The Government calls the accusations are “baseless.”
Orbán’s new school curriculum dumped Hungary’s only Nobel Laureate writer, Holocaust survivor Imre Kertész. At the same time, openly anti-Semitic authors of the last century, like Albert Wass or József Nyírő are part of the curriculum. Wass was an American citizen and his works are popular among US neo-Nazis. His anti-Semitic pamphlets appear in the US neo-Nazi website StormFront. Hungarian teachers have vigorously protested against teaching the fascist writers.
Hungarian teacher protests new curriculum with fascist writers
Budapest is also exporting the country’s intolerance to the US and Canada. Handpicked North American Orbán loyalists formed the so called „Diaspora Council” and its members sign a declaration in support of far-right policies. Canadian diaspora leader, Ms. Anna Szenthe and US leader, Ms. Andrea Lauer-Rice signed a petition in support of two ethnic Hungarian far-right Romanian activists, Mr. István Beke and Mr. Zoltán Szőcs, both members of the neo-Nazi Sixty-Four Counties Youth Movement (Hatvannégy Vármegye).
Just to give a taste of the Hungarian style antisemitism. Recently high quality print posters appeared on the streets of Budapest with the photo of disgraced US film producer Harvey Weinstein. The poster’s text refers to Weinstein’s “fat Jewish” private part.
Antisemitic Weinstein poster in Budapest
Verbal antisemitism is institutionalized in the media. Budapest has approximately 100,000 citizens with Jewish roots. Fortunately physical violence is rare; still it is disturbing how Orbán’s racist intolerance is also gaining popularity among recently arrived Hungarian immigrants in North America. Several Hungarian-speaking US and Canadian organizations are importing these dark ideas from Budapest.