MAZSIHISZ, the alliance of Hungarian Jewish organizations, posted the following in response to unapologetically antisemitic Fidesz publicist Zsolt Bayer receiving Hungary’s third-highest honor, the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit, on Thursday last week:
We know that the legitimate government of Hungary feels no nostalgia for the White Terror, the Orgovány forest or any other mass murder. Nor for us is it a question that it does not consider any of our fellow national groups to be “animals”, including Hungary’s gypsies.
We do not entertain the idea that it considers someone worthy of recognition who regularly refers to those who do not share his opinion as rodents, worms, or lice. Nor does it occur to us that the government, having announced Orbán’s “zero tolerance” policy against antisemitism, would endorse exclusionary ideas having announced Orbán’s “zero tolerance” policy regarding antisemitism. For this reason, the Office of the Prime Minister’s humorous explanation notwithstanding, it is self-evident that our neighbor Zsolt Bayer did not receive the prominent state award for his work as a journalist, but in spite of it.
The largest governing party of Hungary noticed that Zsolt Bayer is one of the unsuccessful and bad-tempered of its founders. However, a country cannot be truly successful and satisfied if its citizens are dissatisfied and unsuccessful. It correctly assessed that Bayer’s frustrated, monotone, hysterical and determinedly hateful malediction is harmful not only to himself but to the public mood as well.
Probably this is why the government wanted to improve his mood with serenity-inducing attention that doesn’t cost any money.
We believe that Zsolt Bayer, like everyone else, is created in the image of God, and is deserving of consolation. We must never give up hope that one day he will abandon his routine incitement and become a good man.
For this reason the Hungarian Alliance of Jewish Religious Organizations wish to make it known that it supports the government’s educational efforts. We are hopeful because there are many good causes in Hungary that can be served by the decorated individual’s former commendable style. We wish him strength, health and long life so that he can rectify the immeasurable damage that his writings have caused Hungary over the course of the past years.