Orbán calls Soros “The American Speculator”. EU says this is “antisemitic”
Ungarn fordert nach einem ZEIT-Interview den Rücktritt von EU-Kommissionsvize Frans Timmermans. https://t.co/wPhaGxCzmC
— ZEIT ONLINE (@zeitonline) May 5, 2017
During the Plenary Meeting in the European Parliament on April 26, Hungarian Prime-Minister Viktor Orbán made a statement, in which he described George Soros as “the American speculator.”
While George Soros clearly is a speculator, and a highly EU-minded British newspaper The Guardian even calls Soros “The world’s most famous currency speculator“, to the German website Zeit Online this is, apparently, an antisemitic insult no less.
In an interview with Frans Timmermans, the unelected Vice-President of the European Commission, they posed the loaded question what he thought when he heard “this clearly antisemitic tone.”
Timmermans, not one to shy away from dramatic utterances, answered that:
“I understood that just like you do and was shocked. In my life, I have had to deal often with antisemitism and it always gets me emotional, just as it does now.”
Zeit Online then seems to imply that emotions get the better of Timmermans, before he continues that:
“antisemitism still exists in Europe, that is horrible! In the debates in Europarliament, I have none the less not responded to it. If I had let Orbán provoke me, it would have overshadowed all reporting on the subject. That is not something I wanted at that time..”
Consider this remark. Powerful politician Frans Timmermans is appalled and emotional because of a remark that to Timmermans, is clearly an antisemitic. Days later, it still chokes him up. But instead of calling the person making the statement out in Europarliament, he lets it slide. Such a knight against antisemitism is he, that you can get away with antisemitism in Europarliament, because Timmermans believes there are more important subjects that mustn’t be drowned out by antisemitism.
How credible is that? Disregard for a moment, that the EU finances the ‘Palestinian territories’, including the Gaza Strip, which is governed by people calling Jews far worse things than “the American speculator[s].”
This is the usual ‘large hypocrisy’ that can be expected from international organisations like the EU and the UN. Let’s focus for a moment on the fact that in his closing statements, Timmermans took the time to berate an EP backbencher. Beatrix von Storch, whom he mentioned by name, called Stockholm the “rape capital of the world,” when she explained why she approved of Orbán’s policies. This he countered by saying:
“If you will allow me, Mr President, I want to make one remark. From the extreme right, because of their lack of arguments, we only get insults. Since nobody responded, I want to respond: I was deeply, deeply aggravated by the vile attack by Ms Von Storch on Stockholm and on Sweden. I think this is completely unacceptable. This is not the way we should have a debate about our common future. We can ask of each other to disagree profoundly, but to have respect for each other.”
Three points: firstly, when checking the debate’s verbatim reports it soon becomes clear that Von Storch was called out by one of her colleagues. Apparently, Timmermans wasn’t paying attention. Secondly, if you’re stating the facts, you’re somehow attacking Sweden. Thirdly, this needed to be mentioned, but an antisemitic attack on George Soros, harsh enough to choke up a weathered politician didn’t need to be challenged in EP? Really?
Unsurprisingly, the Hungarian government has meanwhile called for Timmermans’ dismissal.