Everybody has played this game in their childhood: you sit down in a row, the first in the line comes up with a sentence, whispers it to the one sitting next to him, then he passes it on – and so on to the end of the line, where the last one says out loud whatever he heard. Then the first one repeats the original sentence, and everybody laughs. Thousands of Hungarians, who follow only the government press and blogs, have been playing it in these days.
The first in the line, who started the whispers is Migration Aid itself. About two weeks ago we published the following on our website:
“With the help of an Austrian donor we are now allowed to use a great property near Keszthely with three cabins which were used as summer houses for several years. We want to use this location to provide refugee families who were released from the transits with tranquil surroundings for a few weeks to help overcome their traumas.” (The whole article can be found here. )
For a long time there wasn’t any upheaval about it, volunteers responded, we took steps to organize the event. But on the 3rd of August a journal called Magyar Idők happened upon the news and this is how they served it: “Migration Aid is planning to settle refugees to the edge of Keszthely. According to their social media page, the organizations’s activists will head to the city by the lake Balaton on Friday to prepare the location to the reception of the asylum seekers coming from the transit zones. The impromptu reception station is called – with euphemism – Fairy Grove, and the first residents can move in as soon as the next week.” You see? “Near Keszthely” became “Keszthely’s edge”, even more so: the next sentence suggests that the volunteers are going directly to Keszthely. And the vacation of few weeks became moving in…
And this is when the communication steam-roller was started up. Different online portals have taken on the news, adding more and more fabrications to it. The last one of the line was the grandma with the weeping voice: Then we will all die? We learned that the local mayors have called for an emergency council. And they also started organizing a demonstration. But the most important detail is that in the following two days two journalists and one mayor felt it necessary to ask about it from the source of the news itself. On Thursday a journalist from Zalai Hírlap called us, and on Friday the reporter of M1 was already on site in Zalavár and asks us when we would arrive to clean up.
And the mayor of Zalavár called us to ask if our location was really in their villages. We talked it over with her and told her it wasn’t there. In the meantime the mayor of Keszthely has told the following to the same journal:
“I will use every legal instrument to prevent this if it were about Keszthely, and I would ask the same of the leader of the bureau too. We have reached an understanding with my fellow mayors: if these things will happen around us and we can’t stop them with the legal instruments, we definitely will organize some kind of demonstration or event and we wish to voice that we don’t agree with it at all. Not just with this being here in Keszthely or around: it shouldn’t be anywhere in Hungary.”
The local MP, Jenő Manninger wrote this on his Facebook account (later deleted it): “On this day several media outlets have published the news that an organization affiliated with György Soros, Migration Aid will move migrants near Keszthely. Understandably the news frightened the locals, so I urgently asked information from the authorities. (…) We understand that this is part of the Soros plan. This project is high priority, because we can’t exclude that this organized camping could be the first step of a later colonization.”
This is the disease pattern of the Hungarian media and general morale in August 2017.
And now the facts:
– I the past two years Migration Aid has received offers of property from 18 different cities around the country, mostly from private Hungarians, who would have provided shelter for some time for refugees who were granted status. Although Keszthely wasn’t between these 18 cities, but as a result of this boasted propaganda we received offers of property and of holiday rights from there too. To avoid misunderstandings: normally we thankfully turn these offers down, because we aren’t able to use them or because they don’t fit the all the recommendations.
– Mr Manninger (MP) and Mr Ruzsics (mayor) should ask for a briefing from the Office of Immigration ad Nationality, which belongs to the Ministry of Interior of their government, because if they really do think what they said, they have serious lack of information on these matters. First of all, those, who receive the status of refugee, protected or accepted, are not migrants. They receive a Hungarian ID very similar to a Hungarian citizen’s ID, they get a residence card, and they can get jobs just as anybody else in the country. As the term also suggests, these people are PROTECTED BY THE STATE OF HUNGARY.
Before being recognized as a refugee, everyone has to go through a lengthy procedure, in which course the secret services have to give a written statement that the person in question does not pose any national security threat, the professionals of the immigration office thoroughly investigate if the granting of refugee status is justifiable for the person in question. These people from the governing party should find it out between themselves finally what is it they want: if the immigration office granted asylum to a person, should his/her integration to the Hungarian society be important or not. For if it is important —and we could conclude so seeing that the Hungarian state spends lots of money on integration projects —, then they should be happy to see that there are Hungarian citizens who are happy to help out in this, which also lessens the costs of the integration for the state considerably.
– Refugees have always been living in Hungary (you can find details about it here). This was the same in the past decades, too. Thousands of foreigners live among us, their majority comes from Asia. They are part of our everyday life, pay taxes, try to connect to the majority of the society. It is the best interest of all of us to let it stay thus, not to let parallel societies to involve in our country.
Finally, we want to announce that Migration Aid will take legal action against any public person or media outlet if they call our organization Soros-affiliated or implies that the decision making or operations of Migration Aid are in any way dependent from the American businessman György Soros. Because we are not. We also created the title of “Golden gaede of supporter for Migration Aid” and we will be happy to show every name of public persons or media outlets which will have supported the operations on behalf of the refugees by Migration Aid.
Let us not close this article in such a somber mood, we’d like to share a joke.
The orange and the apple are talking.
Apple (A): Look, Orange, if you throw a white thing and falls down a blue thing, what is it?
Orange (N): Soros.
A: And do you know what’s the name of the Chinese toilet cleaner?
A (silence): And do you know what does little Oogie ask from the governess?
A: Orange, you know the freaking answer to everything.