Saturday, June 02, 2018

Soros Foundation Leaving Hungary!

Black Pigeon Speaks
Published on May 22, 2018

Soros Surrenders as His Hungarian Empire Collapses!!!
Published on May 17, 2018

Soros vs. Orban: Blame game heats up ahead of Hungarian general election
Published on Nov 22, 2017
Viktor Orban’s war on George Soros and Hungary’s Jews
Erna Paris
Special to the Globe and Mail
Updated June 1, 2018
George Soros
Erna Paris is the author of Long Shadows: Truth, Lies, and History, as well as several other books.
Should the Jews of Hungary pack their bags? Those with an eye to history might wonder. Last March, in a formal speech commemorating the 170th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, President Viktor Orban said the following:
“They do not fight directly, but by stealth; they are not honourable, but unprincipled; they are not national, but international; they do not believe in work, but speculate with money; they have no homeland, but feel that the whole world is theirs. They are not generous, but vengeful, and always attack the heart – especially if it is red, white and green [the colours of the Hungarian flag].”
With these words, Mr. Orban pursued his marginalization of Hungary’s Jews. He didn’t name them. He didn’t have to. His familiar anti-Semitic tropes, which might have been lifted from any number of German sources between the late 18th-century and the defeat of Adolf Hitler in 1945, would have resonated clearly in the minds of his audience.
And that was the point. Elections were just weeks away and Mr. Orban had adopted ethnic nationalism as a tactic. Back in 2014, his governing party, Fidesz, was low in the polls. Then came the Syrian refugee crisis of 2015 – a godsend issue. That year, Hungary received the second-most asylum applications of any European Union country; and when the EU assigned refugee quotas to each of its member countries, Hungary mounted a legal challenge at the European Court of Justice (it failed). Mr. Orban built more than 500 kilometres of border fences to keep the migrants out, and enlisted “border hunters.” He called this “law and order.”
By telling Hungarians they were victims of foreigners and foreign ideas, Mr. Orban built a winning formula. He promoted “illiberal democracy” as opposed to the “chaos” of Western societies. This “chaos” was nothing less than multireligious, multicultural society – open society, in other words.
Enter George Soros, or a caricature thereof. For decades, no one has personified open society more closely than the Hungarian-born philanthropist whose organization, Open Society Foundations, has consistently promoted ideas of democracy, human rights, participatory capitalism and political liberalism. Mr. Soros’s goals – “opening closed societies, making open societies more viable, and promoting a critical mode of thinking” – are those of his mentor, the philosopher Karl Popper, whose book, The Open Society and its Enemies, was avidly studied by millions in the immediate post-Soviet era. They are, however, anathema to the “illiberal” designs of Mr. Orban, which are to strengthen hard-right nationalism by evoking manufactured security threats from the outside and promoting an exclusive “Christian culture” within.
That Mr. Soros is both Hungarian and a Jew made him an ideal target during the recent election campaign, which resulted in Mr. Orban being re-elected with a two-thirds majority. Vilified, accused of wanting to “take over” Hungary (another anti-Semitic trope), Mr. Soros’s grinning face was plastered on posters omnipresent throughout the country. The ambiguous caption read: “Don’t let George Soros have the last laugh.”
So focused was the attack that one Fidesz campaign ad urged voters to stop “Soros’s people” from forming the government, thus conflating the opposition parties with the designated enemy.
But Mr. Orban’s campaign against Mr. Soros, whom he has depicted as preparing to strike “a final blow to Christian culture” by sponsoring the reception of thousands of refugees into Europe, neither began, nor ended, with electoral exhortations. For in his effort to reshape the status quo, the President has openly borrowed strategies from the Nazis and from Stalin. To the distress of many educators, he has revised school texts. In one eighth-grade book, students are informed that Mr. Orban thinks refugees are a threat to Hungary. “It can be problematic for different cultures to coexist,” the text advises. This presidential message has, it seems, taken root: Hungarian media have reported that some children believe Mr. Soros is literally the devil.
In the artistic and intellectual arenas, Fidesz-appointed directors and university administrators have replaced their less ideological colleagues; new productions and art exhibitions have nationalist themes; and, importantly, revisionist history is in the making, most evidently in the rehabilitation of Admiral Miklos Horthy, an ally of Hitler who actively collaborated in the deportation of some 500,000 Jews to Auschwitz in 1944. Last year, Mr. Orban called Horthy an “exceptional statesman,” prompting the 
U.S. Holocaust Museum to issue a rebuke. There are now statues to Horthy in many places.
In the same speech marking the anniversary of Hungary’s 1848 revolution, Mr. Orban also railed against “media outlets maintained by foreign concerns and domestic oligarchs, professional hired activists, trouble-making protest organizers and a chain of NGOs financed by an international speculator, summed up by and embodied in the name ’George Soros.’” The body that seems to come closest to his cross-hairs is the Soros-founded Central European University, a liberal English-language institution currently headed by Canada’s Michael Ignatieff. Mr. Orban has refused to legalize the status of CEU. Mr. Ignatieff has fought back and threatened to move the institution to Vienna. At this writing, the standoff continues.
Mr. Orban is said to spend much time reading books and talking with like-minded intellectuals – an education that appears evident in his considered policies. He is also interested in psychology and met with Philip Zimbardo, the American psychologist who created the Stanford Prison Experiment, the 1971 study of authoritarianism. I don’t know what information Mr. Zimbardo imparted, but victimhood, tribalism and the deliberate construction of an enemy have historically worked wonders for autocrats.
Ironically, in spite of his relentless denigration of Jews, both directly and through the proxy of Mr. Soros, Mr. Orban has successfully, and cleverly, co-opted the friendship of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Under the rubric of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” the two have become unlikely allies. Why? Mr. Netanyahu also hates Mr. Soros, who has criticized his Likud government. So it happened that while Hungarian Jews recently begged Mr. Orban to end “the bad dream” of widening anti-Semitism, the European Jewish Association, in lockstep with Mr. Netanyahu, congratulated the President on his new electoral victory. Tellingly, they sought assurances that he would “continue to defend and uphold Hungarian Jewry under his new mandate …” Future historians may see Jewish support for Mr. Orban’s Hungary as a folly.
“Should we pack our bags?” has been a perennial question for diaspora Jews. Most recently, it was asked in France, where attacks on people and synagogues have increased. But in France, the elected leadership has decried anti-Semitism, where in Hungary the threat is emanating from the top, signaling danger.
It is painful to consider leaving the land where one’s ancestors were born, where one has participated in civic life and enjoyed full citizenship. Denial can take hold. There has been a Jewish presence in Hungary since the ninth century.
In her 1946 book, Medallions, the Polish writer Zofia Nalkowska wrote: “Reality is bearable when something prevents us from knowing it completely. It draws near in fragmented events, in tattered reports…”
During his campaign, Mr. Orban ominously promised a reckoning. Earlier this week, his government introduced a set of laws known as “Stop Soros” that would impose jail terms on people or organizations aiding illegal migrants
Hungary’s non-Christian minorities appear to be at risk.
Soros foundation says minister’s accusations about Hungary pullout are ‘nonsense’
  • As it pulls up stakes and makes an exit from Hungary, George Soros' philanthropic organization called the latest accusations from that country's government about the pullout "nonsense."
  • Hungary's foreign affairs and trade minister told CNBC that Soros' Open Societies Foundation (OSF) left the country because it didn't want to reveal its sources of funding.
  • OSF representatives said that they were no longer able to keep their staff safe in Hungary under the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
01 June 2018
George Soros Joshua Roberts | Bloomberg | Getty Images
As it pulls up stakes and makes an exit from Hungary, George Soros' philanthropic organization called the latest accusations from that country's government about the pullout "nonsense."
Without providing specifics, Hungary's Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto told CNBC Thursday that Soros' Open Societies Foundation (OSF) left the country because it didn't want to reveal its sources of funding.
In response to Szijjarto's accusation, OSF Chief Communications Officer Laura Silber told CNBC in an email, "That is nonsense." She said the foundation's departure took place "because, in the words of our President Patrick Gaspard: 'The government of Hungary has denigrated and misrepresented our work and repressed civil society for the sake of political gain, using tactics unprecedented in the history of the European Union.'"
The announced departure of Soros' non-governmental organization (NGO) from Hungary in May made headlines amid an outcry from advocacy groups that the country's government is cracking down on civil liberties. Its staff have been relocated to Berlin.
OSF representatives said that they were no longer able to keep their staff safe under the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and that they were a target of government surveillance.
'A threat to national security'
But Szijjarto has other ideas about the group, arguing that organizations like the OSF, which advocates for migrants' rights and resettlement, threaten national security.
"I have my own thought why they left," the minister said while at the annual Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) forum in Paris. "They left because they didn't want to publish whom they are financed by ... I'm pretty sure that they have things to hide."
A billboard with a poster of Hungarian-American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros with the lettering 'National consultation about the Soros' plan - Don't let it pass without any words' is seen in the 22nd district of Budapest on October 16, 2017, as the conservative government prepares their new national consultation.
Attila Kisbenedek | AFP | Getty Images
A billboard with a poster of Hungarian-American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros with the lettering 'National consultation about the Soros' plan - Don't let it pass without any words' is seen in the 22nd district of Budapest on October 16, 2017, as the conservative government prepares their new national consultation.
Still, the minister lacked specifics, admitting, "I don't know why they're hiding their financial resources, but the fact is that they want to hide them." He added that only a minority of the country's NGOs have complained about strict new laws mandating the disclosure of funding sources, saying that this was telling in itself.
Silber responded by pointing out that the organizations the OSF funds in Hungary are publicly available on the foundation's website, and that the OSF's funding is provided by George Soros.
Long-running hostilities
The current government of Hungary has long been in open conflict with Hungarian-born Soros, who has donated billions of dollars to notably liberal causes. Soros, a Jewish survivor of the Nazi occupation, is a staunch advocate of immigrant rights, which has put him directly at odds with Hungary's right-wing government.
"Hungary has national security interests," Szijjarto said. "One of them is to be able to protect the border, to be able to control who is entering the territory of the country, and to stop the flow of illegal migration."
The country of nearly 10 million has quietly closed its doors to nearly all asylum seekers, and announced in February it would allow in only two asylum seekers per day. Human rights activists claim this violates international laws.
'Stop Soros'
Unapologetic in its anti-migration stance, Hungary's current administration is led by the firebrand Orban, who soundly won reelection in April to become the country's third-longest serving prime minister. Orban ran on a pledge to protect the country's borders and beef up security, while promising a "Stop Soros" bill that would heavily tax and restrict foreign-funded NGOs in the country, like the ones belonging to Soros.
Viktor Orban, Hungary's prime minister, pauses as he delivers a speech during a public ceremony in Budapest, Hungary, on Thursday, March 15, 2018.
Akos Stiller | Bloomberg via Getty Images
Viktor Orban, Hungary's prime minister, pauses as he delivers a speech during a public ceremony in Budapest, Hungary, on Thursday, March 15, 2018.
Amnesty International has called the bill a "muzzle" on NGOs working with migrants and EU officials have expressed concern at what they view as suppression of civil society.
Last summer, Soros lauded the "courageous way Hungarians have resisted the deception and corruption of the mafia state Orban has established." Orban called it a "declaration of war," accusing Soros of leading a mafia-like network.
Orban critics label the government as xenophobic, and often attribute its anti-Soros campaign to anti-Semitism or an attempt to distract the public from political corruption. Szijjarto has denied this, stressing the need for outsiders to respect Hungary's security needs.
A 'totally different vision about Europe'
Szijjarto pointed to a diametric difference in values. "We have an open debate, an open conflict with George Soros, because we have a totally different vision about the future of Europe," he said.
"We have a totally different vision about Europe sticking to its heritage and tradition, and we have a totally, totally, totally different vision on how Europe should deal with migration."
He went on to illustrate Soros' "open will to throw out the government during the elections," claiming that its his? continued outcries are a result of frustration over seeing Orban win again, and that "organizations who carry out activities harming our national security interests must consider the consequences."
The OSF, founded in 1993, has branches in 37 countries and an endowment of $19.5 billion, making it one of the largest private philanthropic budgets in the world. Its work focuses on funding civil society and social justice groups and promoting liberal democratic values, which it says have increasingly come under fire from populist governments.
Orban began his latest term in office by announcing that the era of "liberal democracy" was over.
Natasha Turak

Correspondent, CNBC
Hungary rights activists risk prison under 'Stop-Soros' bill
Draft bill, named after Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros, targets NGOs and people who help refugees.
by Sara Nasser
31 May 2018
Opposition activists removed government billboards accusing Soros of enabling illegal migration [Bernadett Szabo/Reuters]
Budapest, Hungary - Aliz is no longer as open about her NGO work as she used to be.
Reluctant to give her full name, the refugee rights activist from Budapest says a measure of self-censorship is necessary to continue her involvement with civil society groups.
"It would be very easy to say I'm not targeted. I'm privileged. I'm white. I'm European. But people are in different situations, and I really feel that we have to think twice if we risk our [refugee] friends," says Aliz.
Her caution stems from new legislation, submitted to the Hungarian parliament, that criminalises activities supporting so-called irregular migrants.
Under the proposal, those who distribute food and informational leaflets, or offer legal advice to asylum-seekers could serve jail time.
The UNHCR has asked the Hungarian parliament to withdraw the measure, claiming that it would "deprive people who are forced to flee their homes of critical aid and services, and further inflame tense public discourse and rising xenophobic attitudes".
The proposed legislation is the latest in a series of draft bills called "Stop-Soros", which aim to curb civil society groups and NGOs working on asylum issues in the country.
The legislative package is named after the Hungarian-American billionaire philanthropist George Soros, who the government accuses of enabling illegal migration into the country.
A government billboard displaying George Soros next to a message urging Hungarians to take part in a national consultation about what it calls a plan by the Hungarian-born financier to settle a million migrants in Europe every year [Bernadett Szabo/Reuters]
"Many people feel that it is a risk to raise their voices. I'm not saying that if you say this, for sure you're going to be fired. But it's enough to have some stories of people being fired because of their political opinions," says Aliz.
"We cannot act because of these fears, because of self-censorship."
A high school teacher by profession, Aliz had been collecting and sharing testimonies from asylum-seekers, giving speeches at demonstrations and speaking to the press about the rights of foreigners and migrants in her country.
But in 2017, she was forced to stop her work when the government passed a law that prohibited access to the border.
Asylum seekers were pushed into container camps in highly secure "transit zones", a move that garnered strong condemnation from international human rights groups.
'Mother excuse to crack down'
Hungary has since constructed a fence on its border with Serbia, allowing just two asylum-seekers into the country a day.
"Everything is connected to migration in the government's discourse," says Aron Demeter, a spokesman for Amnesty International Hungary. "It's the mother excuse to crack down on independent institutions."
The previous Stop Soros bill included a 25 percent tax on foreign funds received by NGOs working on migration. While the new proposal appears to have dropped this provision, the draft legislation now contains language about punitive measures against activists and individuals helping migrants.
"The government just doesn't want any critical NGOs to exist," adds Demeter.
The recent bill is yet another attempt by Prime Minister Viktor Orban to prevent migration to Hungary, which he calls a "Trojan horse for terrorism".
Such rhetoric is par the course for Orban, whose ruling party, Fidesz, won a super-majority in last month's parliamentary elections, allowing it to pass constitutional changes and laws without any support from the opposition.

Hungary: Draft bill criminalises aiding undocumented immigrants

Critics say the campaign was tinged with xenophobia and anti-Semitism; billboards across the country featured a smiling caricature of Soros, in addition to images of a faceless mass of non-white men behind a stop sign, reportedly recycled from Britain's anti-immigrant party, UKIP's ad.
During the campaign, Orban's chief of staff posted a video on Facebook of an immigrant enclave in Vienna, claiming that "white Christians" had been pushed out and that Hungary could be next. The video was taken down by Facebook, citing its ban on hate speech, only to be restored as an exception to the company's rules.
Daniel Mikecz, a political analyst at the Republikon Institute, a liberal-leaning think-tank in Budapest, says that focusing on migration has become a winning strategy for the Fidesz government.
"The point is to find conflicts, develop those conflicts where you can have a majority, and migration is such an issue. Most NGOs and civil society groups won't be affected by this law. So the government can say there are some NGOs, some activists, that are working against Hungary's sovereignty," Mikecz says.
The issue of migration is also connected to the government's attempt to stave off Hungary's demographic decline. Liberal democracy as Orban recently said, "has been exhausted" and "fails to deliver".
Orban has instead espoused the virtues of "Christian democracy" by promoting traditional families and an increase in the country's birth rate, to defend against refugees described as "Muslim invaders".
Currently, Muslims make up 0.4 percent of Hungary's total population.
For activists such as Annastiina Kallius, the debate over migrants and asylum-seekers in Hungary has proven to be broader than it initially seemed. "It came to the point that in chasing this migration issue, we were a bit like Don Quixote chasing windmills," she says.
"This thing is so much bigger than migration. It affects everything - the schools, the courts, the police, the institutions of this country. That's why we have to take a step back and reassess."

Once-fringe Soros conspiracy theory takes center stage in Hungarian election
By Griff Witte
March 17, 2018
An advertising campaign by Viktor Orban’s party has plastered the face of Hungarian American billionaire George Soros all over Hungary. (Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST — After eight years of bending this nation to his increasingly autocratic and illiberal will, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has only a smattering of disorganized opposition parties to overcome on the road to winning four more in elections next month.
But in his own telling, he is locked in an epochal struggle with a far more worthy competitor: a shadowy international puppet master whose dangerous ideas and limitless resources put him on par with the great invaders and occupiers defeated across centuries of Hungarian history.
“We sent home the [Ottoman] sultan with his army, the Habs­burg kaiser with his raiders and the Soviets with their comrades,” Orban thundered to an adoring crowd of more than 100,000 people in central Budapest this past week. “Now we will send home Uncle George.”
George Soros, that is.
With his left-wing views and deep pockets, the 87-year-old New York-based financier and philanthropist has in recent years become the ultimate boogeyman for far-right ideologues, demagogic despots, tin-hat conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites the world over.
George Soros, founder of the Open Society Foundations, advocates for open government and humane treatment of refugees. (Olivier Hoslet/AFP/Getty Images)
But nothing compares to the intimacy and intensity with which he is now being assailed in his native land. As Hungary’s parliamentary campaign enters its final weeks, Orban has made attacks on his onetime benefactor the centerpiece of his reelection campaign.
Although Soros has not visited Hungary in years, his craggy face is a constant here, peering out from bus stations and looming over highways as part of a ruling-party advertising campaign. The ads put a dark spin on Soros’s call for a more welcoming approach to refugees, suggesting that the billionaire has a secret plan to flood the nation with migrants.
The campaign goes well beyond rhetoric. Orban warned ominously Thursday that Soros’s allies in Hungary would face “revenge” after the April 8 vote, and there are already indications of a crackdown to come.
The prime minister’s party has vowed to pass legislation that would severely curtail the work of nongovernmental organizations. Such groups, many of which are funded by Soros, are among the last remnants of Hungarian society that haven’t fallen prey to the ruling Fidesz party’s iron grip. The prime minister has dubbed the bill the “Stop Soros” law.
“It’s not just an election trick,” said Marta Pardavi, co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a human rights group. “There’s a very strong determination on the part of the government to not only stigmatize NGOs, but to make it very hard for them to even operate.”
Orban’s demonization of Soros, to the exclusion of virtually all other issues, reflects just how far Hungary has drifted from the European mainstream since his election in 2010. A fringe obsession in other parts of the West, Soros-bashing in this nation of 10 million has moved to the very center of political debate.
The focus is meant to distract voters from paying attention to any other issues, said Csaba Csontos, spokesman for the Budapest branch of Soros’s Open Society Foundations.
“Unfortunately, Fidesz has no other message,” he said.
It is not clear the party needs one; Fidesz has about as much support in the polls as all other parties combined. 
And far from being a pariah in the European Union, Orban is increasingly seen as a model for electoral success. Power players in nations such as Germany and Austria have embraced his uncompromisingly hostile stance toward immigration two years after the continent reckoned with an unparalleled influx.
That mass movement of people — Europe’s refugee crisis of 2015-2016 — is where Hungary’s anti-Soros campaign began.
Hungarian authorities in September 2015 closed railway routes to migrants, creating a backlog of thousands. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
The scenes of hundreds of thousands of people making their way across the continent — ­replayed endlessly on television for months — came at a fortuitous time for Orban. His popularity had been starting to slip as the focus turned to plans for a tax increase and to alleged Fidesz corruption.
Orban seized the moment to change the conversation. While other European leaders waived asylum seekers through their territory, Orban tried to block their path to destinations deeper in Europe. For several days in the late summer of 2015, he forbade them from traveling by train or bus, creating a backlog of thousands of frustrated people living on the streets of central Budapest.
Then he finished building a fence on the country’s southern border. Other nations soon followed in closing their crossings, and for the past two years, the once-saturated refugee trail has been largely empty.
But Orban has kept the issue front and center by warning of the “Muslim invasion” to come in “Christian Europe,” and fingering “the international speculator” Soros as its mastermind.
The message resonates with Orban’s base, which tends to be older voters from rural areas who are suspicious of all Soros represents: globalization, multiculturalism and, at least for some in a country where anti-Semitic currents can still run strong, the Jewish faith.
Soldiers patrol the fence along the Hungarian-Serbian border, near Hercegszanto, in December 2017. (Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images)
“It’s the good old method of the Frankenstein monster,” said opposition party leader Bernadett Szel, who recounted being denounced as a “traitor” by Orban supporters for spending several months helping refugees through a Soros-funded NGO. “You create an enemy then tell people that only you can protect them from this enemy.”
Soros and Orban, perhaps the world’s two best-known living Hungarians, have a history together. Orban was a young democratic activist in the dying days of communist control in the late 1980s. Soros funded a scholarship for him to study at Oxford and even helped with the launch of Fidesz, which began as a liberal student movement.
If Orban — a man whom even critics describe as brilliant, with ego and ambition to match — has felt gratitude to the Budapest-born Holocaust survivor, he has not shown it.
Last summer, the government posted billboards across the country depicting a grinning Soros and the words: “Let’s not allow George Soros to have the last laugh!” Several were defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti.
That was followed by a supposed “national consultation” in the fall in which the government mailed surveys to every household in Hungary. The survey asked a series of leading questions, including whether respondents supported the “Soros plan” to “resettle at least one million immigrants from Africa and the Middle East annually on the territory of the European Union, including Hungary.”
Soros dismissed the survey as a collection of “distortions and outright lies” that employed “anti-
Semitic tropes reminiscent of the 1930s.”
The latest anti-Soros campaign — tied to the election — is a doctored image of Soros with his arms around opposition leaders, each of whom holds wire-cutters they are using to break down the border fence.
Soros has long advocated what he describes as a more humane approach to those displaced by war and oppression, of whom there are a record 66 million worldwide, according to U.N. data. He has poured billions of dollars into groups, parties and politicians that work on behalf of asylum seekers and other marginalized groups, and has denounced leaders who use xenophobia to whip up support.
Political advertisements in a Budapest metro station, photographed in July 2017, warn against the influence of George Soros. (Pablo Gorondi/Associated Press)
Those activities all make him a legitimate target, said Fidesz party spokesman Balazs Hidveghi.
“If you enter the political arena, you should not be surprised by a political answer,” he said.
But those on the receiving end of Soros funds say the government is going much further, creating a climate of hatred around migration and rewriting the law to make it as difficult as possible for refugee-support groups to do their work.
Pardavi, the Helsinki Committee leader, said proposed legislation would give the government broad discretion to ban her organization’s activities, which include providing asylum seekers with legal advice.
“It’s not overstating the situation to say that for us this is an existential risk,” she said. “This is a serious threat to civil society in Hungary, and it has no place in a democracy.”
Andras Kovats, director of Menedek, an organization that provides refugees with psychological counseling, said his staff often receives verbal abuse and threatening messages. Tucked in the mail one recent day was a letter packed with excrement.
“There’s a shrinking space for us to do our work,” he said. “The atmosphere has become very, very hostile.”
The hostility starts at the top. In his speech on Thursday in Budapest to mark Hungary’s independence day, Orban scarcely mentioned the economy, health care, education or any of the other issues that might be at the heart of a reelection campaign after eight years in power.
A Fidesz party supporter holds a placard with a photograph of Prime Minister Viktor Orban during a Hungarian independence day rally in Budapest on Thursday. (Akos Stiller/Bloomberg News)
Instead, he spent nearly the entire 25-minute address depicting what he described as a “clash of civilizations” between the patriotic defenders of a traditional Christian nation and “international forces” that want to repopulate Europe with Africans.
“We will fight against the Soros empire,” he vowed.
His flag-waving backers, who spilled out of the city’s grand parliamentary square and deep down several side streets in one of the larger demonstrations of the country’s recent history, cheered and pronounced themselves ready for the battle.
One group of supporters came with a life-size Soros cutout, the mouth taped shut, as well as a placard depicting Soros as the Austin Powers-series movie villain Dr. Evil. A Hungarian retiree who lives in Paris came with a homemade sign denouncing Soros in French.
“Soros is the mastermind behind the Islamization of Europe,” said the woman, 64-year-old Gyongyi Horgasz. “But he’s also a puppet.”
For whom? She wouldn’t say.
“A superior power,” she said, smiling knowingly. “I don’t want to give any names.”
Gergo Saling contributed to this report.
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