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Items filtered by date: July 2016
Sunday, 31 July 2016 15:12

Disrupting the trolls

picture verica

By Verica Rupar, Associate Professor at the School of Communication Studies, AUT, New Zealand.

Standing up against antisemitism in Europe has never been an easy task. In the age when a number of tectonic changes are shaking the nature of public communication, when people get the news from their social feed engineered by Facebook, and in the age when facts do not work – as PR strategists behind Trump and Brexit campaigns claim –  monitoring media discourse seems likely to get limited results. “Not at all”, says Giulia Dessi, the coordinator of “Get the Trolls Out”. This project uncovered examples and provides insights into the use of antisemitic rhetoric that not fully reveal patterns, trends and resonance in society, but are sufficient to take action against antisemitic talk.

One has to read the Media Monitoring Highlights and the Ousted Trolls of the Month published on this website to realize how right she was. The 290 ‘antisemitic incidents’, registered by the team of 10 monitors in almost a year, indeed brought to the light examples of hate, misinformation and abuse. It provided evidence of disruption of public space by mainstream and alternative media, national and local news outlets, on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Periscope, and on individual and group blogs. 

Identifying antisemitic discourse, aimed to engage young people around the importance of fighting antisemitism, would not be possible if the monitors haven’t spent days and nights scanning digital and analogue world, finding examples of antisemitic discourse in texts, images, videos, comments and messages that hurt and strike at the very idea of tolerance and democratic society based on respect for the equal dignity of all human beings. To be effective in recognising discrimination in media, full attention has to be paid to politicians and public figures as well as non-governmental organisations and journalists, to officials as well as random haters on Twitter because the discriminatory nature of talk has to be detected before proposing appropriate action. 

What has the study found? In all countries whose media were monitored – in Belgium, France, Greece, Hungary, and the United Kingdom – trolls with anti-Jewish messages revealed the face of power shift of the links between media and public domains. It has been said that the Internet enabled free expression in all its forms, but this monitoring project has proved that it also opened multiple channels of discourse radically changing the interaction between citizens and public figures. 

In the June’s Troll of the Month example, the president of the urban transport workers’ in Thessaloniki, Greece, denied that he said “God created the Jews by mistake, who afterwards killed Jesus Christ” and  “unfortunately Hitler did not finish his work” by digging a deep hole with an attempt to clarify the statement by saying “God made Jews and they crucified Christ. Majorities crucified Christ just as they burned Copernicus". It did not go without public outcry. Challenging antisemitic discourse became part of the wider debate that included officials who loudly distanced themselves from the union leader. Revealing exploitation of antisemitism in political discourse acknowledged the social importance of revealing hate speech. In a longer run, it is hoped to decrease public support for discriminatory talk as many of columns, readers’ comments, and discussions on social media certify. 

The media monitoring part of the “Get the trolls out” project brought a number of other important insights into the ways antisemitic discourse enters the public space. Trolling, traditionally seen as deliberative act to set out to waste people’s time and energy, in the case of spreading anti-Jewish sentiment involves aggressive campaigning on social media, stereotyping, posting misinformation and misleading claims, ranging from light provocative behaviour to outright abuse. 

The highlighted cases put at the forefront the consequences of simplified political discourse that shifts responsibility for the rise of social anxieties onto the section of the society stereotyped and stigmatised as being historically different. Sometimes the offence has been subconscious, sometimes it comes from ignorance but in many cases they target the Jewish people consciously and purposefully turning the social media into a ‘virtual shouting matches’. 

Conspiracy theories about the attacks in Brussels and Paris fuelled the Twittersphere with poisonous talk, stigmatising Jews for all the wrongdoings of the world. These tweets differ in content and scope but they build a fertile ground for extremism across Europe. Some were produced by people hidden behind pseudonymous with only 40 followers, but some got the audience of thousands. Previous research shows that troll tactics for disrupting online debate include digressing from the topic, manipulating sensitivities within the group to trigger emotional responses, shocking people by poking fun at sensitive or taboo topics and just being aggressive for the sake of it (Hardaker, 20101). The usual answer “don’t feed the trolls” might indeed work in the case of a randomly picked up abuse with no audience but hardly can work as a response in the case of widely known antisemites in the blogosphere.

Things get even more complicated with the legacy media. While the social media operate in the world where the more you try to get something off the Internet, the more you fuel everyone’s interest in it, print, television and radio easily turn individuals’ hate speech into the institutionalised one. Media coverage of actions such as “Burning of a Jew” as a part of Easter celebration in Greece or a flyer about Jews inventing Holocaust in Glasgow carry a potential to either fuel the antisemitic discourse or to discourage it. Editorial responsibility for republishing derogatory statements is enormous as numerous decisions of the press councils and broadcasting standards authorities demonstrate. 

Cases collected in the “Get the Trolls out!” project might be scattered but they function as a repository of examples and responses to antisemitic discourse in Europe at the beginning of the 21st century. Unveiling the trolls in mainstream and social media unpacked the discriminatory nature of antisemitic talk but it also generated a number trolls-disrupting actions that carry a potential to support and assist activists, policy makers and journalists in countering antisemitism in the future.

1. Hardaker, C., 2010, Trolling in asynchronous computer-mediated communication: From user discussions to academic definitions Journal of Politeness Research. Available online at http://clok.uclan.ac.uk/4980/2/Hardaker,%20C.%202010.%20Trolling%20in %20ACMC.pdf  

Published in Articles
Saturday, 30 July 2016 14:40

Antisemitism in Hungary: high and stable

The Action and Protection Foundation commissioned the Medián Public Opinion and Market Research Institute to study antisemitic prejudice in Hungarian society. One of the conclusions of the study was that nearly one-third of the population hold anti-Semitic views. 

In November 2015, Medián studied for the third time what opinions people in Hungary have towards Jews. In polling a sample of 1,200 people, researchers personally contacted respondents. As the study was conducted regularly, it provides comparable data of how opinions evolved from year to year. 

One of the main findings of the study was that an increase – albeit slight – can be seen in the levels of anti-Semitism over the last few years. According to the pollster, this cannot be dissociated from the general xenophobia seen in Hungary. 

graph1 englishSource: zsido.com/Medián

As can be seen, in 2015, 26% of the population agreed with the statement “I don’t like Jews”. 

It was also shown in the course of the poll that people were not really able to cite an event in recent years connected with the Jewish community. Only 11% of respondents were able to cite a specific event from the last 12 months that had appeared in the news as well. Accordingly, it can be stated in all certitude that news or events connected with the Jewish community do not interest the Hungarian electorate, unless they are personally affected. Consequently, it is important to note that – as the pollsters concluded at a press conference – the study was able to identify the attitudes of respondents towards the Jewish community, but not to identify the significance that they attach to the issue as a whole.  

Meanwhile, in 2013, 11% of the population fell under the “strongly antisemitic” category, which increased to 13% in 2014, and to 14% in 2015. The “moderately antisemitic” category decreased from 42% in 2013 to 41% the following year, only to return to 42% in 2015. As summarised in the study report, at the same time, the numbers of respondents in the “not antisemitic” category dwindled from 47% in 2013 to 46% in 2014, and finally down to 44% in 2015.

Over the last 12 years, the proportion of respondents agreeing with the statement “I don’t like Jews” has increased from 9% to 26%. The increase was not a steady one. The number of respondents agreeing with the statement leapt up after 2010, making a 10% jump in one year, up to 28% According to the researchers, this is closely connected with the fact that the extreme-right Jobbik party did very well in the 2010 parliamentary elections, and found itself in Parliament as one of the largest opposition parties. Jobbik at that time did not shy from using antisemitic speech, and thus legitimised this form of speech in Parliament. In the year after the election, the proportion of respondents rejecting Jews dropped slightly, only to increase again in 2013. 

Overall, it can be said that anti-Jewish sentiment is characteristic of about one-third of the population. The proportion of strongly antisemitic respondents grew from 20% in 2013 to 23% in 2015. Although the percentage of the population which is moderately antisemitic dropped in 2014 to 10% from 18% the previous year, it was up to 12% again in 2015. (Figures and commentary from the study report.) 

graph2 englishSource: zsido.com/Medián

As antisemitism grew, the rejection of other ethnic groups has also increased. Due to the crisis weighing on Europe and the Hungarian government’s anti-asylum seekers policies have put migrants by far at the “top of the dislike-index”. The study shows that the level of antisemitism varies in accordance with the level of xenophobia. An interesting point is that antisemitism does not depend on the social background of respondents, as negative opinions of the Jewish community are found in essentially the same measure in all social groups.

graph3 englishSource: zsido.com/Medián

In terms of percentage, Jobbik has the most antisemitic voters, with 40% of the party’s supporters being strongly antisemitic, and 19% moderately so. Of Fidesz voters, 28% are strongly antisemtic, and 13% less so, meaning that four out of every ten Fidesz supporter can be considered antisemitic. We also find massive anti-Semitism on the left: 21% of MSZP supporters are strongly against Jews, while 3% are in the moderate category. The corresponding figures for other left-wing parties are 9% and 9% for LMP, 7% and 11% for DK, as well as 5% and 5% for the remaining parties.

*************

Interview with Endre Hann, General Manager of the Medián Public Opinion and Market Research Institute

Hann portraitEndre Hann

To what extent has antisemitism grown over the last few years?

Growth has been minimal. The change can by no means be called dramatic.

Even without growth, the level of antisemitism is dramatic enough: one-third of the population claims to have anti-Semitic views.

With this study, we don’t measure how people think, but what they say. Which is in some sense a publicly stated opinion. The pollster represents the public. But it’s difficult to really pinpoint what’s inside them. If the study shows an increase in anti-semitism, that doesn’t necessarily mean that more people are angry at Jews. It also means that the atmosphere is such that you can say things like that openly. Of course, that’s also a problem in itself, that there’s an atmosphere in which you can say things like that openly. Under another interpretation, it’s good if people say what they think. 

The attacks on Soros, the Hóman memorial, the statements of the director of the historical office about the numerus clausus – do these have an impact on public opinion, or are they just academic debates that never reach average citizens?

They don’t have a very broad impact, and this is why it’s a major dilemma as to how forcefully the opposition parties or the intelligentsia should react to these events. Often people learn of these events first through the reactions, while they were not aware of the initial event. But I think you can’t just remain silent. For example, Orbán once said that “we” – meaning Fidesz – “are not a commune and not a kibbutz.” My friends and I were arguing about whether this qualifies as an antisemitic comment. The sentence could be heard by someone as meaning, “we’re not communists, and we’re not Jews”. Orbán calls this the “peacock dance”: addressing several audiences at the same time. One day, he puts on his hat, goes to the synagogue, and vehemently states that we won’t tolerate any form of antisemitism whatsoever; the next day he’s winking at the Jobbik voters. The battle for voters who are susceptible to this sort of thing goes on interminably. 

Based on Medián’s latest study, we can say that this strategy is successful. Currently, 37% of the population supports the ruling party, and thus it has more certain voters than all the other parties put together.  

Yes, I also think it’s successful. The worst part of the whole thing is that the propaganda machinery is continuously sensitizing the audience. What comes into people’s minds when the government accuses George Soros? 

Probably “America, capitalist, Jew, foreigner, anti-Hungarian”, these interconnected categories.

It would be interesting to study to what extent people interpret attacks on Soros as being attacks on the Jewish community. Of course a lot of people also associate attacks on bankers with Jews. This is a very dangerous game. I believe that the main problem is Orbán’s game-playing. It’s obvious that he is trying to replace the elite, with “our people” taking over key positions from the old guard, those found themselves in place mainly at the time of the regime change and privatization, but who still were connected with the old nomenclature. The right-wing calls the new elite the national bourgeoisie. That is – as opposed to those who are not part of the nation. The radicals say that the Jews control everything. Orbán has used a lot of aspects of this approach. Recently he used the expression “background powers”. Until now, only conspiracy theorists talked about background powers.  

But everyone agrees, even among the opposition, that Orbán is not an antisemite.

Indeed, many people say that Orbán is not an anti-Semite, even in left-wing intelligentsia circles. So what. The main thing is that he is increasingly playing this card. Maybe it will work out for him, and he really will be able to attract the frustrated masses away from Jobbik.

Jobbik is much more popular among young people than Fidesz. Can they also be seduced by this floating antisemitism?

I looked at the breakdown by age groups in the latest study. The DK’s voting camp is clearly the oldest. Their average age of voters is around sixty. MSZP has the 50-55 age group, Fidesz is the national average, which is 46. Jobbik however is clearly under 40. What’s interesting is that not a single political camp is free from antisemitism. A lot of MSZP supporters share these views. The most are among Jobbik supporters. But the reverse is just as interesting: there are many Jobbik supporters who cannot be called antisemitic at all. Jobbik is a fairly heterogeneous society. They are primarily characterised by social discontent, which can of course easily be turned against the Jews at any given moment. Surprisingly enough, while Fidesz is playing with this topic, Jobbic seem to be wanting to distance itself from this approach. 

But wouldn’t a change in Jobbik’s strategy and its attempt to position itself in the centre result in Orbán taking a different tone of speech? 

The reaction time of voters to this kind of change is fairly slow. Antisemitism was not necessarily the main mobilising factor thus far either. Social discontent is primarily directed towards Gypsies. But because of his games with Jobbik, Orbán is inevitably forced to engage in double-talk. A good example of this is Sándor Szakály’s claim that the numerus clausus law did not deprive anyone of their rights. On one hand, a member of the government makes a statement distancing it from these claims. On the other hand, the director of the institute remains in office. What happens if the government distances itself from the director of an institution which is under government control? If they are distancing themselves from him, why don’t they replace him? It’s basically like when János Lázár [Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office] said that he, “as an individual”, would leave the EU.  

Did the refugee crisis have an impact on society’s tolerance threshold?

Yes. We did a study last autumn, after the big wave of refugees. It showed that anti-Semitism had dropped a bit, but antipathy towards foreigners had increased, primarily against Arabs and Blacks. But I don’t think it will last.

Published in Articles

The leader of the institute of historical studies run by the government claims that the 1920 law limiting Jews from registering in university did not deprive anyone of their rights. Although politicians of the leading party distanced themselves from Sándor Szakály’s controversial statements, the latter was not dismissed from his post.   Ujjgyakorlat englishA cartoon by Bela Weisz for Get the Trolls Out!

By Dóra Ónody-Molnár

The statement

A few weeks ago, Sándor Szakály, director of the Veritas Research Institute run by the government, said in an interview with the Budapest Beacon that the numerus clausus had not deprived anyone of their rights.  This law, considered by many to be the first anti-Jewish law, was enacted by the Hungarian parliament in 1920. The view generally held by historians is that its primary aim was to significantly reduce the proportion of Jews in Hungarian higher education and thus also in various fields of intellectual endeavour.

Szakály however claims that the measure was not directed against Jews, as the law does not even mention the word “Jewish”. According to his reading, the aim of the law was to ensure that the ratio of certain “ethnic species” and nationalities represented in Hungarian universities should correspond to the ratio of the population of each “ethnic species” or nationality within Hungary. In his opinion, the quota was only intended to help the middle class Hungarian refugees arriving from the Hungarian territories truncated by the WW1 peace treaty. While he admitted that the quota certainly did limit the rights of some, it “gave greater opportunities to others”.  

The rebuttal

The above statement was however rebutted by several historians, including Ignác Romsics, who is currently considered in Hungary to be the most authoritative researcher on the period between 1919 and 1944. In a statement, the expert stated that “indeed, the word Jewish or Israelite did not appear in the text of the numerus clausus law; however, parliamentary records about instructions for implementation of the law and the practical application of the law clearly show that it was exclusively directed at the Israelite denomination or ‘nationality’.” Romsics said that, prior to 1918, there was complete freedom to study in Hungary, and the ratio of Israelite students in higher education was around 30%. By the end of the 1930s, this ratio had dropped to 3 or 4%, and by the early 1940s, it was down to 2 or 3%. He claims that this is closer to a complete deprivation of rights than to a mere limitation of rights.

Romsics added that there was a long-standing consensus with regards to this issue: “although other aspects arose in the press and parliamentary debates of that period, for a long time, no one disputed that the numerus clausus was a law specifically enacted against Hungary’s Jewish population. In recent years however, some have made statements which either dispute this or at least attempt to downplay the discriminatory effects of the law.” 

Another well-known researcher on this period agreed with his position. According to Mária M. Kovács, proponents of the law at that time attempted – because of international attention – to hide the true purpose of the law, as they knew that discrimination on the basis of nationality or religion would have a negative impact how Hungary was perceived abroad. In her analysis, she writes that “it is for this reason that the law was enacted with a reversed logical order and with legal trickery: the solution was the idea of Bishop Ottokár Prohászka. This was to enact the Jewish Quota in a way that there would be no reference whatsoever to Jews in the main body of the text. The main text should only include a rule that is equally applicable to all nationalities and ethnic groups in the country, so that it can avoid any charges of discrimination. […] Only one difficulty had to be bridged in this respect: that the Jews (who mostly spoke Hungarian as their native language) were not considered a nationality, but a denomination under the Hungarian legal system. They solved this however by stating in the instructions for implementation that, from now on, ‘Israelites [are to be considered] as a separate nationality’.”

Mária M. Kovács completely rejects the claim that the law could have been in any way considered as positive discrimination, as young Christian applicants to university did not suffer from any disadvantage whatsoever before the numerus clausus was enacted. Even though, after 1920, only 6% of students could be Jewish, this did not lead to an increase in Christian applicants to universities. Thus, “in the twenties, the country’s universities in fact suffered from a chronic shortage of students.” 

She believes that the statements of Sándor Szakály “explicitly aim to trivialize and thereby legitimize the anti-Semitism of the Horthy regime”. 

The official historian

Since January 1, 2014, Sándor Szakály has been directing the newly founded Veritas Research Institute, managed by the Office of the Prime Minister and having a budget of 260 million HUF (about 700,000 GBP) at its disposal. The academic community of historians was decidedly unenthusiastic when the foundation of this new institute for historical studies was announced. Several voiced concerns that this institute would not focus on impartial academic research but would instead serve to validate and propagate the Orbán government’s official versions of history. 

Few, however, were surprised by the nomination of Szakály. According to some reports, the institute was promised to him from the very beginning. The historian openly speaks of his connections to the right-wing, and his main area of research is the military under the Horthy era (1920-1944), and primarily its military elite. Over the last decade, he has focused more on disseminating information to the general public than on academic research. His work as a political journalist show that he is committed to changing negative opinions of the gendarmerie. In the early years of the 2000 decade, he also worked at state television channel Duna TV as vice-president in charge cultural programming. 

Immigration procedures

Not long after his nomination, Szakály made statements that provoked a huge scandal (similar to the current one). He described the deportation of 15,000 Jews from Hungary to be killed at the Kamenets-Podolsk massacre in 1941 as “immigration measures”. 

Because of this statement, Hungarian Jewish organisations and left-wing opposition parties demanded his dismissal. The government was not willing to do so, which (in addition to the issue of the controversial monuments) was the main factor in leading Hungary’s largest Jewish organisation to boycott Holocaust memorial events.  

Business as usual

The follow-up to Szakály’s recent statements have proceeded according to the usual script: 1) a member of the leading political party or a person with close ties to the government makes an unacceptable statement connected with a sensitive topic in 20th century Hungarian history; 2) left-wing parties and the liberal intelligentsia protest vehemently, academic experts may also voice their disapproval; 3) a member of the government carefully distances himself/herself from the statements; 4) the person who made the controversial statements remains in office.

All this is the consequence of the government’s identity politics strategy, which manipulates historical memory in order to forge a common identity and to influence voting behaviour. Szakály’s statements now and two years ago can be understood as a defence of the much-disputed preamble to the Fundamental Law (Hungary’s new constitution), which was only accepted by the ruling party. The official view of history enshrined in the preamble infers that the occupation of Hungary in 1944 was a caesura which also carries the responsibility for the Holocaust.   

The trivialisation of the numerus clausus law adopted in 1920 or the Kamenets-Podolsk deportation all contribute to the interpretation that, before 1944, i.e. while Hungary was a sovereign state, Jews were basically safe, and that the persecution of Jews only began under the German occupation; thus also the rehabilitation of the Horthy regime cannot be criticized either.  

Szakály’s statements are in keeping with this. The most that can be said is that he overdoes it somewhat. The government cannot endorse the way that he pursues the logic which finds its expression in the preamble to the constitution, the monument on Freedom Square or the Hóman memorial. Politicians are better skilled than he at double-talk, or at what the prime minister calls “peacock dancing”.

It is not likely that Szakály is acting on instructions of the government when he makes statements that later require that members of the government distance themselves from them. However, a government which nominates individuals like Szakály does so knowing that they are bound to make this type of statements at any moment.

Published in Articles
Friday, 22 July 2016 15:05

Stopping hate: the Q&A session

On Friday the 22nd of July, the European Day for the Victims of Hate Crime, we held a Q & A session on Twitter. Our experts answered all the questions coming in via #askGTTO.

We started off with the launch of our new website as well as the tips and the guide on how to counter hate speech on Twitter.

Questions started coming in!

Our experts were ready to answer the questions by helping people find additional resources, or giving guidance on how to deal with online hate speech.

Examples were taken from recent news stories on how to deal with hate speech.

We were happy to see that people are aware of the levels of hate speech on Twitter, and realised that something needs to be done about it.

The question from ENAR Hungary showed us that a lot depends on whether you are an individual or an organisation trying to combat hate speech online

Sometimes it might be better to seek help or other support from an organisation, when you encounter hate speech. You always have to keep in mind your own safety:

Even if you yourself are not the target of the hate speech, you can still contribute by reporting it!

The main question however remains: what is your goal?

Check out #askGTTO if you want to see more of the Tweets that were written during the Q&A session on Friday the 22nd of July. Or, if you have more questions, check out our full guide or please don't hesitate to get in touch!

Published in Articles

MDI 5 tips correct

Hate speech online: How to stop it? Should you respond to it? Do counter narratives work? How to keep safe from online abuse? 

Get The Trolls Out has developed the guide "Stopping Hate: How to Counter Hate Speech on Twitter?" which contains useful tips and advice on how to counter hate speech on Twitter.

The guide is available in English, Greek and Hungarian and will soon be available in French. You can follow the debate on Twitter with hashtag #StoppingHate and #askGTTO.

Click here to read the full guide or download it from the bottom of this page. 

Published in Articles
Monday, 11 July 2016 13:56

Kampány Soros György ellen

Ki a Soros 2

Dóra Ónódy Molnár

A Fidesz összehangolt és minden eddiginél intenzívebb támadást indított a nyilvánosságban Soros György ellen, mert az amerikai-zsidó milliárdos - a miniszterelnök és a kormánypárti politikusok szerint - azon dolgozik, hogy migránsokat telepítsen be Magyarországra. A kommunikációs össztűz keretében a kormánypárt vezető politikusai - a kiterjedt kormánypárti média segítségével - hónapok óta Sorost vádolják a menekültválság témájában, így azóta a magyar nyilvánosságot a „sorosozás” uralja. A zsidó származás ugyan explicit módon nem került elő a politikusi megszólalásokban, de a magyar közvélemény jelentős része Soros említésekor erre az összefüggésre is asszociál.

A következőkben azt elemezzük, hogy miért támadt rá a Fidesz és a kormánypárti sajtó az idős filantróp üzletemberre, illetve azt is megvizsgáljuk, hogy a zsidó származás vajon szerepet játszott-e abban, hogy éppen őt nevezték ki elsőszámú közellenségnek.

Barát vagy ellenség

A Fidesz politikai stratégiájának fundamentumát régóta a permanens háborúskodás jelenti. Ez a politika a világot két szembenálló részre osztja. Egyfelől vagyunk mi: a magyarok, a „sajátos észjárással” rendelkező, a történelmi sérelmekkel dacoló, különleges tehetségű nép. Másfelől vannak ők: a különféle ellenséges erők, akik megakadályoznak minket abban, hogy olyan jól éljünk, ahogy az járna nekünk. Ez az ellenség lehet külső és belső, előbbiek közé tartozik többek között Brüsszel vagy a nemzetközi sajtó, utóbbiak közé pedig a hazai ellenzék és a liberális értelmiség.

A Fidesz stratégiája arra épül, hogy a híveit folyamatosan megerősítse az összetartozás pozitív és az ellenségre irányuló indulat negatív érzéseivel. Az összetartozás retorikája a nemzeti érzés kihasználására, egy meglehetősen avítt, nem befogadó, etnikai alapú nacionalizmusra épül. A negatív indulat pedig az idegentől való szorongásra és a ellenünk összeesküvő gonoszok elleni dühre. A fideszes identitáspolitika alapja a jó és rossz, a mi és az ők, a magyarok és az idegenek, a tisztességes munkát végzők és a spekulánsok stb. közötti szüntelen harc.

Mindennapi ellenségünk add meg nekünk ma

A szünet nélküli háborúskodásnak - az állandó mozgósítás állapotán túlmenően - két haszna van a Fidesz számára. 1. Az ostromlott várban nem illik azzal foglalkozni, hogy a várkapitány családja és baráti köre rohamtempóban gazdagodik. Ostrom közben nincs kibeszélés, nincs széthúzás. Egyedül akkor győzhetünk, ha összetartunk és követjük az utasításokat – ez az elv. Az állandósult harci helyzet tehát egyben tartja a pártot. 2. A magyar lakosság nagy része frusztrált, elégedetlen a jövedelmével, az életkörülményével és az állam által nyújtott szolgáltatásokkal. Ha támad az ellenség, akkor az összes bajról ő tehet és nem a kormány. Ez a felelősségáthárítás pedig egyben tartja a szavazótábort. 

Éppen ezért a Fidesz számára teljesen mindegy ki az ellenség, egyedül az a fontos, hogy mindig legyen ellensége. Mindegy, hogy mit csinált ténylegesen, valakit kijelölnek erre a szerepre. Harcolnak ellene egy hétig, két hónapig, négy évig – kiben mennyi a potenciál, aztán ha már nincs benne több mozgósító erő, akkor eldobják és keresnek helyette másikat. 

A Fidesz az utóbbi években harcolt már a spekulánsok ellen, a hitelminősítő intézetek ellen, a Norvég Alap által támogatott civilek ellen, az „offshore lovagok” ellen, a liberális filozófusok ellen, a közműcégek és a rezsi ellen, a bevásárlóközpontok ellen, Rui Tavares európai parlamenti képviselő ellen, a devizahitelt folyósító bankok ellen és mindenekelőtt természetesen Brüsszel ellen.

Másfél évvel ezelőtt a drogmaffia ellen indítottak harcot, ám ez a küzdelem csak két hétig tartott, mert amikor bejelentették, hogy vizeletminta adásra kötelezik az iskolás gyerekeket, országos botrány tört ki. Egy-két napig még azt mondogatták, hogy aki az ötletet ellenzi, az a drogdílerek pártjára áll, de aztán gyorsan ejtették a témát. Ellenség nélkül azonban a rendszer nem működik. Nem is kellett sokat várni, egy hét sem telt el, és megtalálták az új célpontot: a migránsokat.

A tökéletes célpont

A menekültek lettek a Fidesz kedvenc ellenségei. Már másfél éve harcol ellenük, keveseknek jutott ennyi idő. Eleinte lassan pörgött fel a gépezet, mert tavaly ilyenkor még nem indult el a menekültek nagyobb tömege, de aztán a kormány elégedetten nyugtázhatta, hogy ez a probléma is megoldódik. Őszre már minden együtt volt ahhoz, ami egy sikeres kampányhoz kell:

  1. A magyar lakosság nemzetközi összehasonlításban is kimagaslóan elutasító a bevándorlókkal és az idegenekkel szemben.
  2. A menekültek csak átutaztak Magyarországon, de ez is elég volt ahhoz, hogy a riogatást életszerűvé tegye.
  3. Az európai válságkezelés (kvóta-javaslat) tökéletesen beleillett a már felépített Brüsszel-ellenes magyar szabadságharc narratívájába.
  4. A Fidesz régóta a nemzeti oldalként definiálja magát, a politikai élet többi szereplőjének hazafias elkötelezettségét rendszeresen megkérdőjelezi. A menekült-ügy segítségével ezt a felosztást erősíti meg: miközben a kormány a magyar érdeket védi, az ellenzéknek nem számít az ország biztonsága.
  5. A hagyományosan a szélsőjobboldalhoz kötődő idegenellenes téma átvételével megtörte a pozíciójára veszélyt jelentő Jobbik dinamikus erősödését.

Minden út Soroshoz vezet

A kormány a menekültáradat megfékezését hirdette meg, a terv azonban túl jól sikerült. A déli határon felhúzott kerítés az Európába irányuló migrációt ugyan nem tartóztatta fel, csak az útvonalát módosította, de a Magyarországon megjelenő menekültek száma érezhetően csökkent. Ennek következtében a téma napirenden tartása egyre nagyobb erőfeszítést igényelt a kormányzati stratégák részéről. 

Menekültek híján az embereket kevésbé érdekelte a menekült-probléma, és újra belpolitikai kérdésekkel kezdtek foglalkozni. A kormány mindent megtett annak érdekében, hogy a fenyegetettség érzését növelje (például kezdeményezte az alkotmány módosítását a terrorveszélyre hivatkozva, amely nagyon tág lehetőséget biztosított volna számára alapvető jogok korlátozásában) és a mozgósítás szintjét ne engedje csökkeni (népszavazást kezdeményezett az ellen, hogy Magyarországnak kvóta alapján menekülteket kelljen befogadnia), de a Törökországgal kötött uniós megállapodás után végleg kezdett kifulladni a lendület. Kevesebb menekült: kevesebb menekültekről szóló hír. Ez a fordulat pont akkor következett be, amikor az eddigi legnagyobb szakmai-politikai ellenállás bontakozott ki az Orbán-kormány hatalomra kerülése óta. A közoktatási rendszer erőteljes központosítása, a tanári szabadság korlátozása és a folyamatos pénzkivonás hatására az oktatási ágazatban lappangó elégedetlenség ez év februárjától ismétlődő tüntetésekhez és tiltakozásokhoz vezetett, ami látványos zavart keltett a kormányzati oldalon. 

Ez volt az a pillanat, amikor elővették az egyszer már eldobott, de azért mindig használható ellenséget: Soros Györgyöt. A mostani támadássorozat ugyanis nem előzmény nélküli, korábban is időről-időre előkerült az alapítványain keresztül közel három évtizede emberi jogi szervezeteket támogató, magyar származású milliárdos neve. 2013-ban például azzal vádolta meg a Fidesz szóvivője a Helsinki Bizottságot, hogy „azért kap támogatást a Soros György személyéhez köthető szervezetektől, hogy cserébe Magyarországot, a Fideszt, illetve a magyar kormányt lejárassa”. Később a bíróság ezért a kijelentésért bocsánatkérésre utasította a politikust. 

Soros úgy került újra a Fidesz érdeklődésének középpontjába, hogy a kormánypárt az oktatási tiltakozásban szerepet vállaló szervezeteket akarta hitelteleníteni azzal, hogy az egész mögé az ő tevékenységét vizionálta. Hamar kiderült, hogy ez nem megy ilyen egyszerűen, előbb Sorost magát kell lejáratni, hogy aztán vele tudjanak lejáratni másokat. Ezért kapcsolták össze Sorost migránsválsággal, aminek az a járulékos haszna is megvolt, hogy újabb lendületet sikerült adni a kifulladóban lévő témának. 

A séma a régi: egyik oldalon a Magyarországra menekülteket betelepíteni akaró (amerikai-zsidó) milliárdos az általa „mozgatott” civilszervezetekkel együtt, a másikon pedig az ország szuverenitásáért küzdő kormány. 

Antiszemitizmus vagy nem?

„Vannak olyan nemzetközi erők, amelyek azon dolgoznak, hogy Magyarországra és (…) az Európai Unió többi országába is minél nagyobb számban hozzanak be migránsokat. Hívhatják akárkinek is, aki ezt finanszírozza, legyenek bármilyen érdemei is a korábbi antikommunista időszakban, ez, amit ma tesz, ellentétes Magyarország nemzeti érdekeivel, és nekünk, miután mi nem vagyunk zsoldosok, hanem a hazánk érdekét képviseljük, ezt világosan meg is kell mondanunk” – jelentette ki Orbán Viktor a parlamentben1.

Titkosszolgálati jelentések bizonyítják Soros György magyarországi befolyását - közölte Lázár János Miniszterelnökséget vezető miniszter az Atv.hu-val, kijelentve azt is: nincs olyan migránspárti, az ellenzékhez köthető szervezet, amely mögött ne az amerikai üzletember pénze lenne2.

„Az Országgyűlés nemzetbiztonsági bizottsága, illetve a honvédelmi bizottság elnöke és alelnöke is rendelkezik azokkal a titkosszolgálati információkkal, amelyek arról szólnak, melyek azok az úgynevezett humanitárius, emberi jogi szervezetek, amelyek Európába csábítják és segítik az illegális migránsok százezreit, millióit” – nyilatkozta Németh Szilárd, a Fidesz alelnöke3. Szerinte a jelentésekből egyértelműen kiderül, e szervezetek mögött Soros György áll mint főtámogató.

Ezen a ponton mindenképpen meg kell jegyezni, hogy a Fidesz jelenleg is vezető pozícióban lévő emblematikus személyiségei, mindenekelőtt maga a miniszterelnök, egykor a Soros-féle támogatási rendszer kedvezményezettjei voltak. Orbán Viktor a rendszerváltás idején tanult Angliában a Soros Alapítvány ösztöndíjával. Ez a körülmény azonban egyáltalán nem befolyásolja őt abban, hogy egykori támogatóját hevesen támadja. Ez az ellentmondás nem okozhat meglepetést mindazoknak, akik ismerik a miniszterelnök viszonyát az Európai Unióhoz: abban ez esetben is azt az intézményt bírálja nap mint nap, amely gyakorlatilag az összes magyarországi közberuházást finanszírozza.

Antiszemita toposzok

Egyes vélemények szerint az előbb idézett nyilatkozatokból pontosan olyan összeesküvés képe sejlik fel, amellyel az antiszemiták hagyományosan vádolják a zsidókat: ők irányítják a világot, övék a valódi hatalom, ők állnak a politikusok mögött is, miközben titkos machinációikkal romlást hoznak a többi emberre.

Ezt az antiszemita toposzt valóban zavarba ejtő módon eleveníti fel a magyar miniszterelnök egyik kijelentése. Amikor nemrég Bill Clinton azt állította, hogy a magyarok putyin-szerű vezetőt akarnak, Orbán Viktor így reagált: „a száj Clintoné, de a hang Soros Györgyé”4.  Majd „háttérhatalomnak” nevezte a Soros által finanszírozott szervezeteket.

Ez a mondat is arról szól, hogy még egy olyan befolyásos politikus, mint Bill Clinton, sem a saját véleményét mondja, hanem azét, aki mögött áll. A háttérhatalom kifejezés leginkább az antiszemita pamfletekben szokott előfordulni.

Ugyanakkor a fenti nyilatkozatok egyszer sem utalnak közvetlenül a zsidó származásra, ez a motívum nem jelenik meg a legdurvább Soros-ellenes, kormányzati támadásban se. Éppen ezért többen azt gondolják, hogy ennek a kampánynak nincs antiszemita éle. „A Soros személye körül megrajzolt ellenségkép zsidózás nélkül is működik: a veszélyes neoliberális, rejtélyes szándékú, migránspárti globális nagytőkés a maga háttérhatalmi networkjével, ellenzéket támogató pénzeivel ideális célpont” – írta Seres László publicista5.

„Közkeletű felvetés, hogy a miniszterelnöki sorosozás voltaképp zsidózás. Ez szerintem dőreség. Orbán nem antiszemita, és nem érdeke az antiszemitizmus erősödése, még ha talán nem is bánja, hogy aki akarja és akinek ez tetszik, ezt is belehallhatja a sorosozásba” – érvelt hasonlóképpen Horn Gábor, egykori liberális politikus6

Ezt a vitát egyelőre nem lehet eldönteni. A kormány sok gesztust tett a zsidó szervezetek irányába, de sok olyan lépést is tett – talán a szélsőjobbal folytatott verseny miatt –, ami nem az antiszemitizmus visszaszorulásához, hanem erősödéséhez járulhat hozzá. Az antiszemitákéhoz nagyon hasonló toposzok használata és a Soros-elleni kampány utóbbihoz tartozik. Miközben a megoldás talán tényleg csak annyi, hogy a magyar miniszterelnök – mint mostanában annyi mindenben – a Soros-elleni fellépésben is az orosz mintát követi. Ahogy a már idézett Horn Gábor fogalmazott: „Orbáné a száj, de a hang Putyiné.”

1 http://szegedma.hu/hir/szeged/2016/06/orban-nemzetkozi-erok-migransok-behozatalan-dolgoznak.html
2 http://www.fidesz.hu/hirek/2016-05-25/titkosszolgalati-jelentesek-bizonyitjak-soros-magyarorszagi-befolyasat/
3 http://magyaridok.hu/belfold/sorosek-allnak-bevandorlok-mogott-715897/
4 http://mno.hu/belfold/orban-a-szaj-clintone-de-a-hang-soros-gyorgye-1343139
5 http://hvg.hu/itthon/20160530_Seres_kormanyzati_kommunikacio_Soros_identitaspolitika#rss
6 http://nol.hu/velemeny/orbane-a-szaj-putyine-a-hang-1617485

Published in Articles
Monday, 11 July 2016 11:24

Campaign against George Soros

 Is Soros's Jewish heritage a factor contributing to his singling out as public enemy number one by Fidesz and its press?

Published in Articles
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