Musicians and Ministers

interesting concert at the Dohány Street synagogue a few days ago with the Budapest Klezmer Band. It's not every day that a Deputy State Secretary from the Prime Minister's Office is unable to deliver a speech due to noisy interruptions from the audience. Of course it's not every day that a Deputy State Secretary calls on the organizers of the Jewish Festival - of which the concert formed a part - to apologize. In the Deputy State Secretary's view, the apology was warranted by the withdrawal of an invitation to a female vocalist, Mária Petrás, to perform at another concert to be held in the synagogue. The invitation to Petrás was rescinded when it was discovered that she had  performed at venues organized by radical right-wing Hungarian elements, including Loránt Hegedűs Jr..

The intervention of a Deputy State Secretary from the Prime Minister's Office in this relatively insignificant matter is, to say the least, heavy-handed, inappropriate and  altogether curious. Why shouldn't the organizers of the Jewish Festival be entitled to withdraw an invitation to someone when it becomes clear that that person  performed at events organized by   anti-Semites? And why hasn't the Deputy State Secretary - who blandly assured his audience that anti-Semitism and racism are not tolerated in Hungary - apologised for the recent inclusion in the state curriculum of such notably anti-Semitic (and frankly third-rate) authors as Albert Wass and Cécile Tormay? If apologies are the order of the day, the Deputy State Secretary may  consider apologizing for the government's decision to erect a  memorial in Szabadság Square to the "victims of the German occupation". As historians and Jewish groups have pointed out, the memorial falsifies Hungarian history by conveying the untruthful message that Hungary was a victim of Nazi Germany in the War rather than an active and often enthusiastic accomplice. Perhaps  the Deputy State Secretary should also consider apologizing to the hundreds, possibly thousands, of elderly Hungarian Jews and Roma who can still vividly recall how they and their families were treated in Hungary during the War.

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Twilight of Liberal Democracy

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From: Social Europe The Fourth Estate and The Twilight of Liberal Democracy, Part One by Stephen Pogány on 18 January 2017 78 Shares Share Tweet Share …...