Hungary’s enemy?

European Diary, 13.9.2020: Hungary’s Prime Minister Orban and the country’s media, now largely controlled by him, are apparently worried that with the aged George Soros they could at some point lose their favorite enemy, the Jewish world conspiracy to flood Europe with Muslim migrants. The Central European University Orban has also successfully expelled from Budapest (to Vienna), at least its regular teaching activities.

Now Orban has discovered the conspirator behind the conspirator, the Austrian migration expert and pro-European activist Gerald Knaus.

His small think tank ESI (European Stability Initiative) critically observes corruption and anti-democratic tendencies in many European countries, restrictions of press freedom or the treatment of minorities. And of course also the worrying developments in Hungary.

The major Hungarian daily newspaper Magyar Nemzet now dedicates an entire six-part series of reports to Gerald Knaus, beginning on the front page with a portrait of Gerald Knaus and George Soros side by side. And colorful infographics that reveal their secret power and network. An unprecedented hate campaign.

The facts are quite banal. Gerald Knaus was one of those who in 2015 advised German and European policy-makers to reach an agreement with Turkey on the support of refugees on Turkish soil, but who at the same time repeatedly called for a fundamental examination of the causes of flight, especially the situation in Africa, in order to offer people a legal, but also controllable way to migrate to Europe, instead of just “offering” the illegal (and very often letal) trafficking routes to them. Gerald Knaus has also repeatedly and sharply criticized the way the EU deals with refugees on its own periphery, not least on the Greek islands. He has now dedicated a book to his observations and political advice, which will be published in October (“Which borders do we need?”) and which he will present in November in Hohenems and Vienna, among other places.

Whether the Hungarian campaign is connected with the fact that Knaus is currently (all the more so because of the events in Moria) again a sought-after interview partner in Germany and Austria, or whether the concerted media action of Viktor Orban’s vassals was prepared for this hunt anyway? You need to know Hungarian to penetrate this jungle of hate speech.

Even the Hungarian television was involved in the smear campaign: On september 12th HIR TV dedicated an own TV discussion to Gerald Knaus, with four sinister “experts” discussing how to fight “Hungary’s enemy” for an hour.