Krisztina Morvai: “Nazi Barbie” in US Diplomatic Cables

Another post on Jobbik, Hungary’s far-right party, with apologies to readers who are impatient with this string of reports covering Jobbik’s recent appearances in Hungary’s news. Yes, a properly contrarian blog on Hungary should perhaps pay more attention to the government and the economy. But there is no harm in compiling this info, especially for as long as we do not really know what the government is going to do about the economy.

In the meantime, here’s a cable from Friday’s WikiLeaks release covering no other than Krisztina Morvai, delegate to the European Parliament for Hungary’s far-right party Jobbik (a party that is opposed to Hungary’s membership in the EU).

Many believe that deep personal rifts exist between her and Gábor Vona, Jobbik’s chairman: just this summer, there were reports that she got close to being pushed out of the party because, unlike other Jobbik leaders, she seems to be willing to act against Jobbik’s current isolation from the rest of the European far-right. I wrote about Vona’s courting of Austria’s FPÖ and the rejection that threatened Morvai’s association with Jobbik here, in a post on why even the European far-right prefers to have nothing to do with Jobbik (the explanation is not exactly uplifting: Western European neo-nazis are pronouncedly anti-Muslim, while Jobbik is uncompromisingly anti-semitic).

So, while Vona seems remain fully in charge of the “troops” in Hungary, Krisztina Morvai remains safely stoved away in Brussels. When in Hungary, nowadays she tends to preoccupy herself with spreading her jurisprudential expertise around as the spokesperson for the defense team of György Budaházy, a neo-nazi terrorist under trial in Hungary – or as Jobbik prefers to put it, their “political prisoner.”

This is what the US embassy in Hungary thinks about her:

SUBJECT: HUNGARIAN EXTREMIST HEADED TO THE EUROPEAN
PARLIAMENT 

REF: A. BUDAPEST 410
     B. BUDAPEST 362 

1. (SBU) Summary.  Two days after the extreme-right Jobbik
party's surprising success in the  European Parliamentary
(EP) elections, lead candidate Krisztina Morvai provided
further insight into her agenda at a breakfast with the
international press corps.  Self-confident, sometimes
arrogant and occasionally mocking in her responses, Morvai
described herself as a lawyer and a "human rights
activist(not your typical fascist or Nazi career."
Anti-international business, anti-globalization, an EU
skeptic and defender of "Hungary for Hungarians," Morvai's
presentation highlighted her agenda in the EP and key Jobbik
positions.  Dubbed "Nazi Barbi" in the Hungarian press,
Morvai, a former Fulbright Scholar comfortable with both
high-level discourse and the crudest anti-Semitic rhetoric,
is clearly relishing her increasingly potent public profile.
End summary. 

--------------------------------------
NOT YOUR TYPICAL FASCIST OR NAZI CAREER
-------------------------------------- 

2. (SBU) In a June 9 meeting with the Budapest international
press corps following the extreme-right Jobbik party's strong
showing in the EP elections (ref A), Krisztina Morvai opened
with a brief summary of her career.  Morvai, who will lead
the three-member Jobbik EP delegation, emphasized her
professional work in human rights advocacy, particularly her
four years (2002-2006) as Hungary's representative to the
United Nation's Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).  Calling herself a
human rights and women's rights activist, Morvai ridiculed
the foreign journalists present, commented that "she believes
hers is not your typical fascist or Nazi career," referring
to frequent press accusations about her. 

3. (SBU) Stating that she will never give up her work as a
"fighter for human rights," Morvai proudly reminded the
audience that she was the recipient of the Red Cross's
Freddie Mercury prize for promoting AIDS awareness.  She also
noted her efforts to create the Independent Lawyers Committee
to provide legal aid to the victims of police brutality
during political riots in Budapest in 2006, strongly
criticizing the international community and, in particular,
the European Union for remaining silent.  She said that every
person should have immediately condemned the police response
with the exception of those "who have a passionate love for
dictatorships." 

4. (SBU) Morvai also underscored that she is not member of
Jobbik even though she led the party list.  She made it clear
that she has no intention of joining Jobbik in the future,
preferring to remain a "civilian."  She explained an aversion
to political parties in general, criticizing even Jobbik for
not having any women in its eight-member party leadership
council. 

--------------------------------------------- ----------
&Passion and Justice8 headed to the European Parliament
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 

5. (SBU) Condemning the EU as a "completely unjust,
neo-liberal, bureaucratic and corrupt system," Morvai
stressed that Jobbik gained three seats in the EP because
they were emotionally very strong and remained dedicated to
their goal despite the "nasty media reporting" of their
objectives and actions.  She said that few Hungarians
admitted publicly their intention to vote for the party due
to their fear of losing their jobs, and thus the polls
underestimated Jobbik support. 

------------------------------------
THE EUROPEAN UNION ) A FAILED SYSTEM
------------------------------------ 

6. (SBU) Calling the European Union "a failed system which
needs to be fundamentally changed by people with the right
heart," Morvai said she is committed to cooperation with
other Euro-skeptics in the EP to make their voices much
stronger.  Morvai said that although she will probably speak
in a more diplomatic way, she will not lose her passion for
human rights, underlining her strong pledge for finding
allies even among the other Hungarian MEPs (including
Socialists) to fight jointly for the dignity of Hungarian
people.  (Comment.  Morvai's reference to speaking in a more
diplomatic way was in response to her shocking, crude
comments on a website to a Hungarian-American who had
strongly criticized her.  She suggested that the individual
go play with his &Jewish circumcised XXXX (male anatomy)
rather than wasting time trying to besmirch her."  End
comment.) 

7. (SBU) Stating that Hungary is treated as a "second class
member" of the European Union, Morvai said her number one
objective in the EP is "the protection of the Hungarian
agricultural land," which will be open for sale to foreigners
beginning in 2011.  Morvai vehemently condemned the
governmental politics that led to diminished markets for
Hungarian products and the disappearance of family owned
farms.  She stressed that  "Hungarian land needs to remain in
Hungarian hands as we don't want to become a second
Palestine," sarcastically adding that "you are welcome to
publish this statement in the headlines of tomorrow's papers,
I don't care." (Comment.  At the end of the session Morvai
quoted Simon Peres, You Tube comments in which he made
reference to the success of Israeli international
investments, including "Israel buying up Hungary."  In
connection with the anti-Semitic comments and the public
denial of the Holocaust associated with the extreme-right,
Morvai stated that while violence needs to be prevented, the
freedom of expression needs to be protected.  She argued that
only dialogue as opposed to silence can decrease social
tensions.  End comment.) 

---------------------------------
THE ROMA'S NEW CHIEF EP ADVOCATE?
--------------------------------- 

8. (SBU) Continuing to outline her EP agenda, Morvai stated
that she will strongly fight for Roma rights, especially "the
right to a proper education for Roma children despite their
parents, reluctance to ensure it."  While ironically denying
holding any nostalgia for the Communist era, she acknowledged
that the past regime did manage to defend and educate poor
children.  She passionately emphasized the need for strong
state protection for Roma women against trafficking rings and
for Roma families against usury.   Morvai underlined the
importance that the Roma must have legitimate representatives
who can speak on their behalf as opposed to the current Roma
politicians.  She stressed that a dialogue has to be started
with the Roma community, asking them how "they see their
future and how they see the future of their children?" 

------------------------
AND THE TRIANON QUESTION
------------------------ 

9. (SBU) In response to a question from the Serbian Embassy's
Deputy Chief of Mission with regard to ethnic Hungarians
living beyond the borders, Morvai stated she wants to
organize an international conference on the Trianon Treaty,
framing the issue as "a human rights rather than a political
question."  Claiming that the discussion on autonomy and
self-determination is included in all the major human rights
conventions, Morvai stressed that this issue needs to be
shifted to a group of experts who can start working out a
plan for autonomy based on the principles of human rights. 

-----------------------------------------
HUNGARY - A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY IN EUROPE
----------------------------------------- 

10. (SBU) Repeatedly comparing Hungary to a third world
country in terms of the lack of protection for workers,
rights, human dignity for Hungarians, and crime prevention,
Morvai said Hungary is like some Latin America countries
where "a small group of rich people can buy their own
physical security but the rest of the nation doesn't matter
for them."  Morvai stressed her strong belief that the state
has an obligation to protect vulnerable people and this is
why Jobbik wants to build a stronger state and fight against
crime.  In this regard, Morvai said that "the only problem
with Magyar Garda (MG) [note by Contr. Hungarian: the Hungarian Guard] 
is that it is not strong enough,"
confessing great happiness over its creation.  Continuing,
she said that the MG has to be much stronger in order to
successfully protect Hungarians from the State's suppression. 

----------------------
HUNGARY FOR HUNGARIANS
---------------------- 

11. (SBU) Responding to a question from the press, Morvai
explained that the Jobbik's slogan "Hungary for Hungarians"
includes even those minority groups "who have been living in
Hungary for a long time" (i.e. the Roma).  However, she
emphasized that the slogan excludes the multinational
companies that take all the profit out from the country.
Morvai claimed that the multinational companies should not be
given special privileges, rather they need to bear the same
burdens as local, Hungarian owned small and medium sized
enterprises if they want to do business in Hungary.  Hungary,
she said, should not be owned by global capital but the
Hungarians, capturing her sentiment with the phrase "we need
to move from globalization to localization." 

12. (SBU) Comment.  Self-confident and charismatic, Morvai
definitely made a strong impression on the members of the
international Press Corps ) although not always a favorable
one.  Highly critical of the national and the international
media, she had no qualms in telling one journalist that her
"idiotic question" comparing Jobbik and the WWII era,
Nazi-oriented Arrow Cross party only reflected the fear of
the entire international media supporting global capital.
Morvai suggested that the journalist should rather "go to
Israel and ask what the difference is between Israel and the
Nazis." 

13. (SBU) Comment continued.  With excellent English and
strong speaking skills, Morvai, citing the outspoken American
critic of corporate globalization, Dave Korten, as her
ideological model, conveyed a message filled with
contradictions.  Interestingly, during her presentation, Mr.
Zsolt Varkonyi, Jobbik's Foreign Policy Advisor, (ref B) who
accompanied her to the breakfast, often provided quiet
guidance prior to Morvai answering a question.  Although
Jobbik has developed some connections with the British
National Party, it remains to be seen just how effective
Morvai and the other two Jobbik representatives will be
during their five year EP term.  It is clear, however, that
the far-right has found a capable figurehead who cannot be
easily categorized and should not be underestimated.
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This entry was posted in English-language Hungarian news, Gábor Vona, Hungarian far-right, Jobbik, Krisztina Morvai, neo-nazis in Hungary, US-Hungarian diplomatic relationships and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Krisztina Morvai: “Nazi Barbie” in US Diplomatic Cables

  1. Pete H. says:

    What is the date of this cable?

  2. June 16, 2009. Here’s the original: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/06/09BUDAPEST429.html
    There are quite a few others from the Budapest Embassy from Friday’s release:
    http://wikileaks.org/origin/157_1.html
    This one, for example, about “GROWING HUNGARIAN HORDE FROM THE RIGHT” is incredibly well-written: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2008/04/08BUDAPEST342.html
    There are at least four more on the Hungarian Guard that I have not yet had the time to read through.
    Let me know if you find anything noteworthy!

  3. EBE says:

    My goodness, if it is possible for a smart woman for play very dumb, Morvai certainly exhausts all possibilities. I admire Morvai for her work regarding women’s right, as well, as her AIDS activism, and I loath her for almost everything else. As fir Barbie… she is a ‘bit to old now to wear that “title”. I think her humanitarian work is for her conscience and her foaming mouth with speculative speeches and misquotes are for her carrier. She and Orban would be great lovers, they very alike. If Morvai would care about how Hungary is perceived, she would put more work into protecting the equal rights for Hungarians in Hungary, would stop telling lies in the EU about the actions of her political enemies, and would work very hard to shut up the extreme right with all the nationalists, but unfortunately these groups are the groups she willfully a member,

    • “She and Orban would be great lovers, they very alike” – this is hilarious! But it would solve practically every single one of Hungary’s problems. Having found their psycho-pathologies so compatible, Morvai and Orban become so enamored with each other that they withdraw from politics to a cottage – somewhere far away in the Carpathian mountains – and Hungary lives happily ever after!

  4. Paul says:

    But seriously…

    As Orbán has carefully created a situation where there is no one who can seriously challenge his position from within Fidesz, perhaps he does look at Morvai and fears that one day she might be the one thing he fears – a real challenger to his position.

  5. Wow. I am a member of the French Front National and I am utterly shocked to see that such politicians can even be allowed in Europe these days. Don’t the Hungarians realize that the ennemy is Islam ans the Muslims ? Don’t they know that by being anti-semitic they are pleasing the Muslims ? The end result will be Hungary being a pro-arab pro-Islam screwed up country like Venezuela, Bolivia or some other wicked places of latin america. Besides, what’s to be gained by allying with muslims and arabs ? These people haven’t made any contribution to Humanity ( science, human improvements ? ) they are good for nothing people unlike the Jews. They ( the muslims ) will wreck Hungary like all the places they go to ( see France, Deutshland, England, Spain Italy ).

    I wll not comment any further the sheer ridiculousness of the Jobbik party, go kow-tow to these evil muslims like the palestininans. You will get your comeuppance sooner than you think.

    Western European “far-right” parties are much more healthy than the Jobbik, we are not rabbid anti-semite pro muslims fucks like them, and we don’t want to have anything to do with them.

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