AHF Members react to "unwarranted attacks" against Geza Jeszenszky
11/15/2012 - Putting principle over politics, a cross-section of the Hungarian American community issued a statement regarding unwarranted attacks against former Hungarian Ambassador to the United States Geza Jeszenszky: "We the undersigned are not only familiar with the writings of Geza Jeszenszky but have known him for years and spent many hours in his company. In his public statements and private conversations we have never heard him expressing racist views of any kind, not even subtle or light-hearted comments that some people allow themselves after hours in Hungary as well as in the United States. To the contrary, he has been a model professor and public servant espousing nondiscrimination and diversity as indispensable in a democracy.."
The co-signers, some AHF members, include accomplished professionals in such fields as: journalism, economics, law, medicine, science, civil service, academia, and labor. Some are liberals while others are conservatives.
As one of the co-signers noted, “whether liberal or conservative, it is apparent that we can promote democracy in Hungary, by serving as examples, respecting political pluralism and debating differences on their merits not through ad hominem attacks and labeling, as unfortunately occurred in the Jeszenszky matter.”
The Full Statement appears below [download]:
We the undersigned are not only familiar with the writings of Geza Jeszenszky but have known him for years and spent many hours in his company. In his public statements and private conversations we have never heard him expressing racist views of any kind, not even subtle or light-hearted comments that some people allow themselves after hours in Hungary as well as in the United States. To the contrary, he has been a model professor and public servant espousing nondiscrimination and diversity as indispensable in a democracy.
In his discussions of historical subjects, he has gone out of his way to point out the positions of national heroes, Hungarian and American, who denounced the many forms of racism. For years, he has held up the example of Raoul Wallenberg in defying a regime bent on genocide. As ambassador, Jeszenszky has initiated programs to commemorate Wallenberg as a fearless advocate of human rights.
Considering Jeszenszky’s unequivocal record of support for the rights of minorities, his intent in calling attention to the Roma practice of cousin marriages that may lead to unhealthy children can only be explained as an attempt to warn against social hazards that befall closed societies. We are proud to call Geza Jeszenszky as our friend and we are puzzled by the motivations of people who attempt to stain his reputation of integrity.
November 1, 2012
The co-signers above reacted within 24 hours of the reports concerning the unwarranted attacks against Ambassador Jeszenszky. Since then others have enthusiastically supported this Statement, including the individuals below who have asked to have their name added. While not all of them know Ambassador Jeszenszky personally, they are familiar with his writings and views.
11/2/2012 - Amerikában is kiállnak Jeszenszky mellett [Forrás: MTI]: Amerikai magyar értelmiségiek az MTI washingtoni irodájához eljuttatott nyilatkozatban álltak ki Jeszenszky Géza oslói magyar nagykövet mellett, megalapozatlannak nevezve a rasszizmus vele szemben egy korábbi, a romákkal kapcsolatos egyetemi jegyzete miatt hangoztatott vádját. [tovább]
1/24/2012 - AHF reacts to what it sees as politically motivated, unfair, unmerited, biased criticism of Hungary. "While democratic institution building should be encouraged and debated, it should be done based on facts, and in a fair, unbiased and evenhanded manner [it must be] bereft of partisanship (or even the appearance of partisanship) and undertaken solely in furtherance of promoting Western values, not political expediency." [read more]
Magyarország amerikai mikroszkóp alatt: valós aggodalmak vagy elfogult politikai támadás? Az Egyesült Államok legnagyobb magyar emigráns szervezete, az Amerikai Magyar Szövetség közleményt bocsátott ki a Magyarországot ért politikailag motivált, érdemtelen amerikai kritikákra reagálva. Az írás különösen aktuális, hiszen februárban tényfeltáró amerikai kongresszusi delegáció utazik hazánkba. [tovább]
3/5/2012 - AHF has Follow-Up Capitol Hill Meeting on Recent Congressional Trip to Hungary and Slovakia. Prior to the delegation’s trip the Federation submitted background information on Hungary and Slovakia to the CODEL. “At a time when there is considerable misinformation being disseminated about Hungary and so little known about the discrimination against the Hungarian minority in Slovakia, we believe such fact-finding missions are most useful, welcome and greatly appreciated,” said Mr. Koszorus. [read more]
2/17/2012 - AHF briefs top professional staff advisor to Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia on the eve of congressional delegation (CODEL) trip to Hungary and Slovakia. The Federation submitted a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member along with significant background materials on Hungary andSlovakia and called their attention to recent harsh and often politically motivated and unfair criticism of Hungary and the anti-Hungarian attitudes, policies and practices in Slovakia [read more] and join the discussion on Politics.hu!
1/11/2011 - AHF Issues its First Statement on Hungarian Media Law: "A Rush to Judgment: The Reaction to the Hungarian Media Law." It is our "unassailable and firm conviction that freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy and liberty." But the unprecedented rush to judgment and vitriolic media coverage of the Hungarian media law seems to have been based on a partial understanding of the law itself and, in some cases, appears to be motivated by bias or political considerations. [Read more]
7/12/2011 -- AHF Reacts to Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Co-Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, who questioned democracy in Hungary and criticized expressions of concern for Hungarian minorities. AHF's letter expressed its steadfast conviction that judgments be "objective, fair, balanced and based on facts and not generalizations and speculation." It also urged the Helsinki Commission not to ignore the Hungarian minorities but to publicly and privately encourage Slovakia and Romania "to build tolerant societies by respecting the rights of their Hungarian and other minorities and the rule of law." [read more]
Levelet írt az egyik szenátornak az Amerikai Magyar Szövetség
Miért támadja Magyarországot az amerikai szenátor?
American-Hungarian federation strike back at US senator over critical comments, by MTI : The American Hungarian Federation (AHF) voiced “concern and perplexity” in a letter to Democrat Senator Benjamin L Cardin over his recent remarks concerning Hungary. [read more]
Gyásznapok után - az elkeseredés ellen - by Jeszenszky Géza, published with permission. "Mögöttünk a Trianon évfordulóját „a Nemzeti Összetartozás Napjá”-vá nyilvánító törvény elfogadása, a majdnem kerek dátumot kísérő számtalan megemlékezés és írás. Közelebb kerültünk-e a nemzeti tragédia okainak megértéséhez, a trauma földolgozásához, és a jövőben követendő optimális magatartás megtalálásához?" [tovább]
Idén augusztusban volt 42 éve, hogy az Egyesült Államokban létrejött a Magyar Baráti Közösség, első nevén - egy Ady-versre utalva - Itt-Ott. Ohio Államban, a "Reménység Tavá"-nál ismét vagy másfél százan jöttek össze a hazai, illetve az elcsatolt területekről meghívott vendégekkel. Szívderítő volt hallani, hogy az előadások, viták után esténként a húszas éveikben járó, másod- vagy harmad generációs fiatalok is milyen remekül énekelték a magyar népdalokat. De van értelme, jelentősége Amerikában őrizni és továbbadni a magyar kultúrát, a magyar tudatot? [tovább]
Géza Jeszenszky de Nagyjeszen (born November 10, 1941 in Budapest) is a Hungarian politician and teacher, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Ambassador to the United States. He is currently serving as Hungarian Ambassador to Norway. He is also the Chairman of the Carpathian Association of Hungary.
Due to his commitment to the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 he was banned from higher education for two years. From 1961 read history, English and library science at Eötvös University, Budapest, receiving an M.A. in 1966 and a Ph.D. in 1970.
After two years as a schoolteacher Jeszenszky joined the National Széchényi Library in 1968. In 1976 he was invited to teach at the Budapest (then Karl Marx) University of Economics, where he was appointed reader in the history of international relations in 1981 and was elected Dean of the School of Social and Political Science in 1989. Between 1973 and 1976 he held a research scholarship from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences at the Institute of History. In 1980 he received the degree „Candidate of Historical Sciences” from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Jeszenszky is the author of a large number of scholarly publications and political writings.
Jeszenszky taught courses on the history of international relations, modern Hungarian history, esp. foreign policy, on Central and Eastern Europe (the Habsburg Monarchy, the problem of national minorities) and on the transition process in the formerly Communist-dominated countries in the 1990s. In 1984-86 he was a visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, teaching the history of Central and Eastern Europe.
Jeszenszky was a founding member of the Hungarian Democratic Forum (1988), which won the free elections in April 1990, nominating him Minister for Foreign Affairs in the government of J. Antall (1990-94).
As Minister Jeszenszky made a personal contribution to the dismantling of the Warsaw Pact and to the reorientation of Hungary's foreign policy. Dedicated to the idea of regional cooperation he helped establishing and maintaining the „Visegrád” cooperation of the restored Central European democracies. He negotiated bilateral treaties with Hungary's three neighbors, Ukraine, Slovenia and Croatia, countries who were ready to provide guarantees for the rights of their sizeable Hungarian population.
Following the elections of 1994 Jeszenszky became a member of the Opposition in Parliament. In 1995 he was elected President of the Hungarian Atlantic Council, a post he gave up when he was nominated Ambassador to the United States of America. He served in Washington between 1998 and 2002, representing the government led by Viktor Orbán. In September 2002 he resumed teaching history and international relations at the Budapest University of Economics and Public Administration. As a Visiting Professor he also taught the the history of Central Europe at the College of Europe, Warsaw-Natolin, and at the Babes-Bolyai University at Cluj-Napoca/Kolozsvár in Romania.
In his dual capacity as a scholar and a politician Dr. Jeszenszky participated in numerous conferences and spoke at many universities all over the world. He received a number of decorations and awards including a C.I.E.S. Fulbright Grant (1984-86) and a Guest Scholar Grant from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (1985). In 1996 he was Helen De Roy Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Dr. Jeszenszky's family has a noble origin from Túróc County (now: Turiec, Slovakia after annexation following Trianon). His paternal grandfather was Géza Jeszenszky Sr. lawyer who married with Jolán Puchly, a daughter of 1848-49 freedom fighter János Puchly. Géza Jeszenszky's father was Zoltán Jeszenszky (1895-1986), a manager at the Hungarian General Credit Bank (Magyar Általános Hitelbank). His maternal grandfather was János Miskolczy-Simon, who fought in the World War I and died near to Lemberg (now:Lviv) in 1914. His grandmother was Sarolta Kovács music teacher and pianist. Jeszenszky's mother is Pálma Miskolczy-Simon (born 1910) who inherited her mother's pianist vocation. Dr. Jeszenszky is married, has a son and a daughter. He is an active sportsman, his favorites are skiing, rowing and mountaineering.