Noticed in the Press – June 25, 2016

In the June 25-26 edition of The Wall Street Journal, the Weekend Confidential by Alexandra Wolfe: "Andrew Forrest Mission to End Modern Slavery" 'The Australian billionaire Walk Free Foundation is working to help the estimated 45.8 million enslaved people around the world'


In the same issue, a commentary by Gerard Baker: "Britain Fires a Shot Heard Around the World"


In the June 23 edition of the Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet, an commentary by István Dobozi: "A Potomac meg a Duna partján" in response to an opinion piece.


In his commentary "From the shores of the Potomac and the Danube" Coalition member István Dobozi responds to an opinion piece by Tibor Löffler about George Soros and the nature of Hungarian American relations.  Mr. Dobozi shares Mr. Löffler's view about the Orbán government's systemic weakness in responding to ideologically motivated challenges and criticisms. A recent case in point is the overreaction  by both Hungary's prime minister and minister of foreign affairs to a Bill Clinton's off handed statement about Hungary's  alleged drift toward a "Putin-style leadership and dictatorship". There is no justification to suspect Mr. Soros behind Clinton's campaign statement designed for American consumption. In this regard, Mr. Dobozi notes that Soros's influence on bilateral relations is generally exaggerated in Hungarian public discussions.  The writer challenges Mr. Löffler who seems to conflate the "meddlesome" involvement of Mr. Soros and the late Tom Lantos in U.S.- Hungarian relations.  Mr. Dobozi claims that – without possessing Mr. Soros's money leverage – Mr. Lantos made a historically unrivaled contribution to the improvement of political relation between the United States and Hungary.  His death in 2008 left a big vacuum unfilled to the present.

Mr. Soros is not responsible for the recent low level of political relations between the two countries, which are uncharacteristic between allies and friends. The latter is explained primarily by a deliberate American policy decision, in 2010 upon Mr. Orbán taking office, to ratchet down bilateral political interactions, mostly on account of Fidesz's and Mr. Orbán alleged political tolerance, driven by their broader domestic power agenda, of the extreme right, particularly Jobbik.

The commentary concludes that this is not the right time to engage in mutual public recriminations about which side is right or wrong, because nothing can substitute striving for an honest and mutually respectful discussion of outstanding political issues at the highest level.



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