On February 12, 2013, an unprecedented attack was perpetrated against the employees of the Hungarian Embassy, among them against Ambassador Dr. László Pordány. A blog site operating under the name of Kanadai Magyar Hirlap (or “Canadian Hungarian Journal” in English, KMH in the rest of this release) published in Ottawa, ON, launched an English language petition with the purpose of defaming Ambassador Pordány and to force his recall by the Hungarian Government. The petition was to be sent to the members of the Canadian Government as well as to the leaders of the diplomatic core.
The petition’s initiator and author is Christopher Adam, editor-in-chief of the Canadian Hungarian Journal and a lecturer at Carleton University. Within the petition, Mr. Adam accuses Ambassador Pordány of being an anti-Semite, as well as of treating people with political bias, discriminating against those who have other political views, and by ignoring Hungarian-Canadian organizations.
The 17-member Board of Directors of the National Alliance of Hungarians in Canada (NAHC) – which was founded by 65 Canadian-Hungarian organizations in 2012 – would hereby like to refute the baseless accusations and very personal attack against Ambassador Pordány as well as against Canadian-Hungarian organizations.
Firstly, Christopher Adam and the KMH has, for more than two years since the last Hungarian elections, been conducting an open political campaign against the current, democratically elected 2/3 majority government of Hungary, the Hungarian Embassy in Ottawa, the Hungarian-Canadian organizations as well as their leaders.
To illustrate: in October 2011 the so called Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter published a 20-page long indictment against the newly elected government of Hungary; (1) conducted a malicious discrediting campaign against Rev. Tamás Androvich, the then parish priest of Our Lady of Hungary Catholic Church in Montréal; (2) as well as published more than two dozen articles attacking the Hungarian Embassy and our own organization, the NAHC. Each one of these attacks – for the sake of community peace and tolerance – was left unanswered by the Embassy and the leaders of the Canadian Hungarian communities. Therefore, the accusation that those with alternate opinions are excluded from the public life is completely baseless, since until now, those who were touched by these judgmental articles have exercised the greatest possible tolerance and did not respond to any of these false – politically fuelled – allegations.
The accused did so despite the fact that the KMH did not shy away from stomping on human dignity and from using vulgar language in a routine manner. This is because in their articles and comments, they enable the use of the filthiest language and print blushing epithets against those with other views than them. Enabling the appearance of such language did not only violate their own moderation rules but also human dignity and personality rights of those accused.
It is indeed very sad to witness this vulgar language recently permeating their articles too. Christopher Adam states in his latest article: (3) that
“In Ottawa and elsewhere it should be important to think over, when we sign up for something like a Hungarian passport, or when we apply for Hungarian citizenship in front of the Orban regime’s anti-Semite and far-right diplomats, that we take our oaths to their 2/3 majority shit-pile”.
Note that “shit-pile” supposed to refer to the new Constitution of Hungary, passed by the Hungarian Parliament in 2011 and replacing the old Soviet-style constitution from 1947. It is shocking to see that a university lecturer, from whom one would rightly expect a certain level of cultured expression, can sink so low in his writing style as well as in labelling people using collective generalities.
Let us add that, beyond his function as editor of the Canadian Hungarian Journal, Christopher Adam has also co-founded – with about half-a-dozen other people – the so-called Canadian Hungarian Democratic Charter. This organization considers itself part of the Hungarian Democratic Charter established by deposed former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, now an MP and an opposition party leader in Hungary. Thus, it is Christopher Adam who is clearly attached to an active politician in Hungary and so the question arises: who is obligated politically, the author of the petition or Ambassador Pordány and the many Canadian-Hungarian organizations he accuses of being so.
It is obvious that Christopher Adam, who during the ruling of the previous Hungarian government, maintained a close relationship with the then Hungarian Ambassadors, is clearly driven by his political affection to a certain political party in Hungary and his resentfulness of being unnoticed by the current government. This is why he attacks anyone with different views than this.
The political party divisions are therefore clearly not planted among the Hungarian-Canadians by the Hungarian Embassy or the Hungarian-Canadian organizations, but by the KMH itself. And what is more: the exclusions due to different political views is advocated not by those accused by the KMH either, but by Christopher Adam himself, who recently stated in an article that (5): “I believe that between us and the members of Fidesz (the party currently in power in Hungary), their collaborators, and beneficiaries the only thing in common – thanks to the accident of faith – is that they also speak Hungarian and so do we. But, us and them do not belong to the same nation and cannot form a community with them.” We are shocked by this statement, which attempts to exclude people from the Hungarian Nation just because their political views do not coincide with those of Christopher Adam.
Hypocritical double standards are also not too far from Christopher Adam. While currently he accuses Ambassador Pordány with anti-Semitism regarding a certain incident a few months ago, when that incident occurred, Christopher Adam wrote (6): “Dr. László Pordány rejected anti-Semitism and racism in a respectful fashion.” The question to Christopher Adam is therefore: according to him, does Ambassador Pordány reject or does not reject anti-Semitism? And while he accuses others, we would like to pose a more important question: would the KMH and Christopher Adam isolate themselves from anti-Semitism? Or did not he make it possible to publish over one hundred articles from Tamás Szemenyei-Kiss (7), an author who openly confessed to be anti-Semitic? An author, who considered the Hungarian Jews as “guest citizens” in Hungary and who stated that (8): “We cannot accept the situation that the leadership of Hungarian Nation, on the cultural, political and economic levels is in the hands of Jews. On these three points in practice, so is the Power.” Once more we are astonished that the KMH and Christopher Adam, while accusing others of anti-Semitism, made it possible for an anti-Semitic author to publish over 100 articles without any limitations.
Finally, let us discuss the accusation by Christopher Adam that the Hungarian Embassy handles with contempt the Canadian-Hungarian organizations and claims that (9) “Hungary’s diplomats serving in Ottawa look on with the same contempt on our views and newspaper, as they look on a church dinner, an emigrant organization’s meeting or a national remembrance ceremony in the basement of an aging Canadian Hungarian church.” We as the leaders of Canadian-Hungarian organizations based on direct experience refute this statement in the strongest possible manner. At the present, there is an excellent cooperation and great relationship between the Hungarian-Canadian organizations and the Hungarian Embassy in Ottawa. There had never been such close contact with our Embassy in the past. Ambassador Pordány has introduced and established a new attitude based on proud ethnicity among the Hungarian Diaspora. In two years he visited almost every Canadian-Hungarian community, even many of the smallest ones. Besides this, for example the Ottawa Hungarian Community Centre and the Hungarian Embassy have celebrated our national holidays together in the past two years. In other words, the Canadian Hungarian organizations have not experienced such openness from the Hungarian Embassy ever before. If Christopher Adam would participate in our national holiday celebrations – which he does not consider important enough – than he would know all this from first hand experience.
In light of all this we most definitely refute the KMH’s attacks, which go beyond good taste. At the same time, we wish to stand up for Ambassador Pordány and all the personnel of the Hungarian Embassy. We greatly appreciate their work and their great endeavor for the preservation of our Hungarian identity and their care for Hungarians living in the Canadian diaspora.
We hereby ask Christopher Adam and the KMH to please refrain from any more comments built on the baseless, false and sensationalistic attacks, which only serve their political ends against those who think differently, and which clearly go beyond what is acceptable in a civilized society. We ask that they not only ask others to account for their patience and tolerance, but practice it themselves. As we can accept quietly and with patience that our views do not agree with theirs, – but we still consider them Hungarians – thus Christopher Adam and his friends should accept that the vast majority of the Canadian-Hungarians do not agree with their views. But for this, do not revile them and do not exclude them from the Hungarian Nation!Furthermore we respectfully ask: if they all believe in the democratic principles, then please accept the electoral decisions of the Hungarian people and that of the Canadian-Hungarian organizations. If they decided not to participate in the activities of the Canadian-Hungarian organizations – because they do not wish to build – then rather choose inactivity instead of destroying and vilifying.
References (most in Hungarian):