Opinion: Hungarian Weeklies on US Ambassador Slamming Government at Pride Festival

  • 24 Jun 2023 5:07 AM
  • BudaPost
Opinion: Hungarian Weeklies on US Ambassador Slamming Government at Pride Festival
Pro-government authors believe that Ambassador Pressman is biased against Hungary.

In his opening speech at the annual Budapest Pride Festival Ambassador David Pressman said ‘LGBT people are under attack in countries around the world, including in Hungary’. He also criticised the government’s ‘posters of Brussels bombs’, saying that Hungary is not under attack by outside forces, nor omnipotent conspiratorial powers.

Commenting for Magyar Nemzet on the Ambassador’s remarks on the government’s posters, the Government Information Office said ‘Pro-war politicians attack Hungary because we are pro-peace. They are interested in a prolonged war and want to embroil us into it’.

On Mandiner, Rudolf Oblat lists a series of earlier critical statements by the Ambassador on the government’s policies concerning among other things international sanctions on Russia or the judiciary in Hungary. He remarks that since the very start of his mission, Mr Pressman has played a markedly activist role employing methods far beyond the usual tools of diplomacy.

Further comments on US ambassador’s Pride address

A pro-government commentator dismisses the ambassador’s comments as baseless, while a left-wing columnist believes that the government is senselessly confrontational in its foreign relations.

In Magyar Hírlap, József K. Horváth rejects the statement made by US ambassador David Pressman at the Budapest Pride Festival in which the diplomat said that LGBT people were under attack in Hungary. 

On the contrary, Horváth writes, nobody harasses LGBT activists in this country and the Pride Festival itself is proof of the freedom LGBT people enjoy. He also mentions that the ambassador’s words were printed verbatim in Magyar Nemzet, the main pro-government daily, although Mr Pressman had predicted that such a thing would never happen.

Finally, Horváth writes that compulsory migrant quotas and the inflation caused by Western sanctions on Russia disprove the ambassador’s words, according to which Hungary is not under attack from outside forces.

In Népszava, on the other hand, Gábor Horváth suggests that the conflicts between Hungary and its international allies are mainly generated by statements made by the Hungarian side for domestic propaganda consumption.

What proved to be effective as a propaganda tool inside Hungary backfires in diplomacy, he maintains. As an example, he calls the reactions to the statements made by the US ambassador to Budapest hysterical, adding that as such, they only corroborate what the ambassador said.

Horváth enumerates several NATO countries plus Ukraine which are growing increasingly hostile towards Hungary. He believes that Hungary needs those countries much more than they need her, and therefore predicts that the consequences will be painful.

A pro-government take on the Pride festival

As the Budapest Pride Month enters its second week, a right-wing columnist lambasts LGBT activism but advocates tolerance toward sexual minorities.

In Magyar Nemzet, Attila Borsodi finds it frightening that an LGBT activist organization invited the United Nations to condemn Christianity as an ideology hostile to sexual minorities. He also laments that under what he sees as constant pressure by LGBT activists, priests in western countries give their blessing to same-sex couples.

Meanwhile, he admits that the LGBT lobby is right to expect society to be tolerant and respectful towards sexual minorities. ‘We only ask them to also hold our own Christian faith and culture in respect’, he concludes.

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