Dispatch

The Intifada Comes to Brooklyn

Can 297 victims of Hamas terrorist attacks in the Second Intifada find justice in a New York court?

BROOKLYN, New York — The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has found a new playing field: a Brooklyn courthouse.

Opening arguments on the morning of Aug. 14 before Judge Brian Cogan and a packed courtroom were rife with objections from both sides. Lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that Jordan-based Arab Bank was the "paymaster" for Hamas's military wing, that it provided "the fuel" for Hamas's activities during the Second Intifada, and that it helped "incentivize" suicide bombers. The defense said that, on the contrary, Arab Bank followed the U.S. government's procedures for screening against terrorists; any payments made to Hamas were made in error.

Although Israel has declared Arab Bank free of the suspicion of terrorism, and even though U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has called the bank an asset to counterterrorism efforts, a group of American lawyers and 297 plaintiffs have pursued the bank for 10 years through endless litigation, finally landing them in court this month. While similar trials have taken place internationally, such as the suit against the perpetrators of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, this is the first time such a case has come to the United States.

The case currently being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York is a landmark. Never before has a civil suit been brought under the auspices of the Anti-Terrorism Act, a law passed in 1990 that enables victims of terrorist attacks that take place outside the United States to pursue justice in U.S. courts.

The 297 plaintiffs in Linde v. Arab Bank are U.S. citizens and foreign nationals who were injured or lost family members to terrorist attacks from 2000 to 2004 in Israel and the Palestinian territories. The defendant is Arab Bank, which is based in Amman, Jordan. It has more than 600 branches in 30 countries and -- according to the plaintiffs -- processed payments to Hamas during the deadly Second Intifada. These payments, which ranged from $5,300 to the family of a suicide bomber to $1,300 for an injury, totaled $35 million, according to the plaintiffs' lawyers.

The trial, which is expected to last four to six weeks, will establish liability only. If the plaintiffs win, it will be followed by a separate trial with a new jury to determine damages.

The case originally included thousands of other plaintiffs who were not U.S. citizens. That the long-awaited trial should begin now hovers between the ordained and the absurd: Jury selection began on Aug. 11 -- along with the shaky cease-fire between Israeli forces and Hamas in Gaza. Opening arguments began on Aug. 14, just days before the belligerents went back to firing rockets at one another.

In the courthouse in downtown Brooklyn, arguments flew back and forth, with lawyers filling the benches on either side of the courtroom. Opening arguments veered dangerously from the judge's orders.

When a lawyer for the plaintiffs said that Arab Bank "consciously disregarded" what was going on in front of it, Arab Bank's lawyers objected, and the plaintiffs' lawyers were instructed by Judge Cogan to stick to the facts. When Arab Bank's lawyer told jurors that there is no evidence that "a single penny was spent on terror," the plaintiffs' lawyers' objection was sustained.

It will be up to the jury to decide what Arab Bank knew and when. Did the bank's staff members know that they were allowing funds to be paid out to suicide bombers' families from the Saudi Committee for the Support of Intifada Al Quds, a charity established in 2000 by the Saudi government to help Palestinians? Or were they simply involved in routine banking and following all of the United States' regulations for doing so?

From the opening arguments, it became clear that the entire Israeli-Palestinian conflict, from military occupation to Islamist ideology to terrorist tactics, will be hashed out in the courtroom. According to Gary Osen, chief attorney for the plaintiffs, the jury -- three men and eight women -- had been picked for their lack of predisposition on the subjects. It quickly became obvious why: Each side will present its own version of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Preconceived notions would certainly have gotten in the way.

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The plaintiffs' lawyers allege that Arab Bank knowingly allowed the Saudi Committee to transfer $35 million to known terrorists and their families as payments for suicide bombings and compensation for injuries and imprisonment during the 2000-2005 period known as the Second Intifada, thereby facilitating terrorist activities and, in particular, those suffered by the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs' case argues that Arab Bank used its Manhattan branch for laundering these funds. "Millions of dollars flowed right down the middle of Madison Avenue," said Tab Turner, a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

Arab Bank's lawyers argued that not only did Arab Bank not knowingly make payments to Hamas, but the bank did not make payments to terrorists at all, at least not to individuals whom the U.S. government considered terrorists.

Banks are regulated by the State Department and the Treasury Department, whose Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against a list of 10,000 individuals and groups. Every one of Arab Bank's transactions runs through software designed to flag known terrorists and stop the flow of money into U.S.-sanctioned groups.

"It's the government who decides who the terrorists are," argued Shand Stephens, Arab Bank's lawyer. "That's not a decision that's made by private companies."

Of 97 individuals whom the plaintiffs accuse of receiving funds through Arab Bank, only three were on the OFAC list. Two were not flagged because of a glitch in the system --the chronic misspelling of Arabic names. The third -- Osama Hamdan, a prominent member of Hamas who was designated a terrorist by the United States in 2003 -- did receive funds from the bank, but it was the result of human error, according to Stephens: Four transactions were processed into his bank account, with the word "Hamas" appearing on the wire transfers, for a total of $730. "It was a mistake," Stephens said.

According to Stephens, the Saudi Committee, which the plaintiffs allege was funding Hamas's terrorist activities, is actually a humanitarian organization that has never been designated on any national or international list as a terrorist organization, and it is devoted to supporting Palestinians impoverished by the conflict.

The plaintiffs' lawyers portrayed suicide bombers as victims of Hamas's ideology and Arab Bank money. "They literally brainwash these kids," argued Turner. He described a terrorist attack in March 2001 in which two Bible students were killed. But the suicide bomber, Fadi Attallah Yusuf Amer, was "also a student," Turner said. Furthermore, the lawyers claimed that the Second Intifada was religiously motivated. "Evidence will show that this is a jihad," said Mark Werbner, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs. "They are on a holy war," he said, to kill infidels.

Yet in order to explain the motive behind the bank's funding of terrorism, Werbner turned from the religious back to the national. He referenced a 2001 Arab Bank calendar as proof of the bank's "ideology." The calendar, which was printed by the bank and distributed to branches, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs, referenced the "destroyed villages of Palestine," proving that Arab Bank "considered Israel the enemy." In 1930, the Arab Bank's founders were, according to Werbner, "committed to establishing a state where Israel was."

Arab Bank's lawyers had a very different take. Stephens opened by decrying the "horrific acts of violence" represented by the 24 terrorist attacks. He then called up a map of Israel and Palestine, and he explained the 1967 war, which began the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Stephens described the spirit of hopefulness after the Oslo Accords that brought one man -- Shukri Bishara, a banker who is now the Palestinian finance minister -- from Paris back to his home in the West Bank, where he opened 22 branches of Arab Bank across the West Bank and Gaza with the aim of improving the Palestinian economy. In this capacity, Stephens argued, Arab Bank allowed charities to make payments in Gaza and the West Bank. "Martyr doesn't mean terrorist or suicide bomber," he said, departing from the opposing counsel's claim. "It means someone who is dead."

A similar case, Gill v. Arab Bank, was thrown out by the same U.S. District Court in 2012 for failing to prove that Arab Bank had "proximately caused" the plaintiffs' injury. "Hamas is not the defendant," wrote Judge Jack Weinstein in his decision at the time.

But the lawyers for the plaintiffs in Linde v. Arab Bank will have a much easier time arguing their case. In 2010, Arab Bank didn't disclose some of the information requested by the plaintiffs' lawyers in discovery, specifically foreign account data, claiming foreign law in 11 countries where the bank operates prohibited the bank from sharing the data. A magistrate judge at the time ruled that the bank's failure to disclose this information handicapped the plaintiffs' case. As a result, Arab Bank was punished, or "sanctioned," for its "recalcitrance."

The sanctions, which were enhanced by Judge Nina Gershon and upheld by Judge Cogan, included instructions to the jury that it "may, but is not required to, infer" among other things, that Arab Bank "knowingly and purposefully" provided financial services to terrorists. In other words, abiding by foreign secrecy laws has turned into effective guilt. 

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Not only will the jury be allowed to "infer" Arab Bank's guilt, jurors will also be kept in the dark about what some might consider very relevant information: For example, the fact that Israel doesn't consider Arab Bank an entity that funded terrorists. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) cleared Arab Bank of all involvement in terrorism in 2009 after gathering intelligence during a raid on the Ramallah branch in 2004. The IDF sent a letter to the bank to this effect, but Judge Cogan has excluded it from evidence, writing that he did not wish to permit a "mini-trial concerning the IDF's actions."

The IDF is not the only relevant body that doesn't see Arab Bank as a funder of terrorists. U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. called Arab Bank "a constructive partner with the United States in working to prevent terrorist financing" in a 2013 brief to the Supreme Court. Verrilli worried about the effects of punishment, or "sanctions," against the bank, and the effect a judgment against the bank in Linde v. Arab Bank could have "on United States foreign-relations interests and the stability of the region." He was not exaggerating. In a brief, a lawyer representing Jordan, who confirmed the secrecy laws, called the sanctions against Arab Bank "a serious affront to Jordan's sovereignty."

The lawyers for the plaintiffs are not too impressed with this reasoning. For Osen, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, the U.S. government would do better looking to civil court than to Arab Bank for assistance in counterterrorism, if only because the government's limited resources mean that it can't locate and designate every single terrorist.

"Midlevel bomb-makers don't ever really get designated," Osen said after court. Furthermore, "politically, it can be sensitive for the U.S. government to take on certain targets, not because of lack of evidence but because of political consideration." Osen said that only one Saudi charity has ever been designated by the U.S. government and that's not for lack of evidence. "I would submit to you that there's more than one that the United States has credible evidence has supported terrorism. That's a practical political consideration." But it's not one that private litigants must take into consideration.

Six days into the trial, the cease-fire between Hamas and Israel in Gaza was broken. The two sides are back to battling it out with rockets and airstrikes. Meanwhile, Linde v. Arab Bank takes a uniquely American approach to counterterrorism, with the plaintiffs' lawyers seeking retribution for victims from the deep pockets of a Jordanian bank. Whether or not they will find justice is a different matter.

David Silverman/Getty Images

Dispatch

The Autocrat Inside the EU

How Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban transformed from a dissident compatriot of Vaclav Havel to a would-be Vladimir Putin.

BUDAPEST, Hungary — In late July, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivered a bold speech in the Transylvanian town of Tusnadfurdo. His message, articulated at a retreat of Hungarian leaders, was unquestionably controversial; to many observers of Hungarian politics, it was nothing short of galling. Orban announced plans to make his country an "illiberal state," citing some of the world's more repressive regimes -- Russia and China, for instance -- as models.

"The new state that we are building is an illiberal state, a non-liberal state," he said. "It does not deny foundational values of liberalism, [of] freedom.... But it does not make this ideology a central element of state organization."

It was Orban's brashest anti-democratic salvo since his conservative Fidesz party swept to power in 2010 -- and the bar was already high.

The "end of liberal democracy" speech, as it has been dubbed by Hungary's opposition media, caps years of wrangling between Orban and European Union officials over measures that critics say have removed democratic checks and balances and have cemented the prime minister's control over key institutions. In the span of a few short years, using his party's two-thirds parliamentary majority, Orban has passed a new constitution and restrictive media laws, limited the powers of his country's Constitutional Court, introduced an election law that led critics to call polls this April "free but not fair," and installed party loyalists in all important state bodies, including the central bank. There are fears that the "Putinization of Hungary" is occurring -- a concern that carries all the more weight given Orban's increasingly cozy relationship with Moscow.

For some who have known Orban longer than his recent years as prime minister, however, his speech marks something more: the final step in a steady tumble from his once-elevated status among Central Europe's most promising democratic reformers to one of Europe's most worrisome autocrats.

This summer marked the 25th anniversary of Orban's remarkable ascendancy onto the political scene. A little-known student opposition figure, Orban became an instant anti-communist hero for a landmark address he delivered in June 1989 on the steps of Budapest's Heroes' Square, demanding that Soviet troops withdraw from Hungary. The country, along with the rest of communist Europe, was teetering on the cusp of monumental political change. At age 26, as the leader of a group of liberal law students who founded Fidesz (short for the Alliance of Young Democrats), Orban was among the wave of exciting new opposition voices who emerged across Central Europe, pushing for new political freedoms and democratic reforms.

"The basis of our worldview is the philosophy of human rights," Orban told Hungarian political weekly HVG in August 1989. "We believe that society should be constructed in a way that it gives the most possible freedom to individuals." He called himself a "social liberal" who was fighting for "Western-style democracy," and he cited as his political role models "leaders of opposition movements, from the participants of the '53 Berlin workers' uprising, the street fighters of the '56 revolution to the East European democratic opposition of the 1980s."

For his provocative style, Orban was the pride and hope of Hungary's older generation of dissidents -- the "ultimate anarcho-liberal," as former democratic opposition leader Miklos Haraszti recalled in a 2002 essay, skilled "in the art of introducing new freedoms by calculated provocation," and on whose presence "filled us for a decade with the complacent belief that a rich supply of political talent was coming our way."

Orban remains a rich political talent. At age 51, he is a three-term prime minister and a fierce political competitor, as formidable while in power as he is in the opposition. His agility in the political arena has enabled him to shape Hungarian party politics and, to a large degree, the country's deeply polarized post-1989 political culture as a whole.

But over the decades, Orban has transformed Fidesz from a small, liberal democratic party --which eked into parliament in Hungary's first free election, in 1990, with roughly 9 percent of the vote and just 21 seats -- into the most dominant conservative political force in Hungary and among the most powerful such forces in the European Union. Today, the party has virtually unchecked power.

This all raises the obvious question: What happened to Orban to cause such a transformation? The answer is complicated, but at the heart of it is the fact that Orban has proved the consummate politician. He is primarily interested in power, no matter the ideological or other costs it takes to gain it. He has embraced a grab bag of rhetoric and policies, picking and choosing whatever he believes (usually correctly) will allow him and his party to maintain a tight grasp on Hungary. And he has succeeded, much to the dismay of many Hungarian citizens, human rights groups, EU officials -- and Orban's onetime democratic brothers in arms.

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Orban's immense political success has come amid sharp ideological turns and often deeply contradictory policies that, for lesser politicians, would bring a quick end to most careers. His most dramatic shift occurred in 1993, when Orban steered Fidesz to the right ahead of elections the following year, a power move engineered to scoop up parliamentary seats occupied by the then-governing party, the center-right Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF). The MDF had lost the support of voters, who were impatient with the party's ineffectual reforms, and Orban saw an opportunity to move into a vacant political space -- even though that space stood in contradiction to Fidesz's traditional ideology.

The shift fractured Fidesz. Disagreeing with what Orban had done, a handful of founding members migrated to the now-defunct Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ), a party formed by an older generation of opposition democrats, including Haraszti and philosopher Janos Kis. The move also reshuffled the country's political playing field, creating a deep divide between Hungary's liberal left and conservative right that remains in place today.

Fidesz suffered a drop in popularity for its defection, but over several years, Orban cannily seized another opportunity: The SZDSZ had formed an alliance with the Socialist Party, the reform-minded wing of Hungary's former community party. Orban repeatedly and forcefully highlighted the hypocrisy of this union. As Haraszti noted in his 2002 essay, Orban successfully united right-wing forces against the left and "hammer[ed] on the Liberals-Are-Communists theory in order to have a united 'other side.'"

By 1998, when Fidesz came to power with a governing coalition of conservative parties, Orban had become the emblematic leader of the conservative, Christian right -- a near-total reversal of his radical-left beginnings just a decade prior and a position he has maintained ever since. "He realized being a politician is more than just being an anti-communist revolutionary, and he was heavily motivated to climb the political ladder," says Andras Bozoki, a political scientist at Central European University (CEU) in Budapest who served as a Fidesz spokesman in 1990. (This article's author is an employee of CEU.)

Bozoki says Orban is more of a political "pragmatist" than an ideologue, with a keen ability to spot -- or sometimes instigate -- political opportunities in order to grab and retain power. Orban also has a unique ability to read and respond to the public's mood and political culture. He is an "events-driven political animal," says Istvan Hegedus, a leading member of Fidesz in its early days. In the late 1980s, this meant placing himself in the vanguard of the popular democratic movements of the day. In the mid-1990s, this meant capitalizing on the public's growing disillusionment with democracy, largely the result of the unexpected hardships -- unemployment and inflation, for instance -- of free market capitalism. Orban has successfully toyed with the public's democracy fatigue ever since, offering himself and his party as remedies.

To be sure, Orban's now-hallmark mantra, demonizing the political left as "communists" who plundered state wealth during privatization, is not entirely untrue. Many elites did abuse their favorable positions in the mid-1990s to reap massive profits. Former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, for example, became one of the wealthiest people in Hungary as a result of his insider footing. Yet Fidesz has done much the same thing. In recent years, billions of forints have been funneled to elites connected to the party through public and private contracts, which has enriched a growing circle of government-linked oligarchs.

Since 2008, Orban has shifted to the right further still, putting himself at the center of a wave of populist, nationalist movements that sprung up across Europe as a response to the global financial crisis. A small market economy heavily dependent on foreign capital, Hungary was hit hard by the crisis, as Western investors retreated and the country's currency plummeted -- losing a quarter of its value against the euro by 2009. Hungarians were unable to keep up with sharp increases in monthly mortgage payments, and this generated a severe housing crisis. All this was compounded by Hungary's spiraling debt crisis, and in 2011, Orban was faced with the choices of taking a loan from the International Monetary Fund, introducing unpopular austerity measures, or both.

He responded instead by introducing a package of "unorthodox" economic policies that have included levying a one-off "crisis" tax on the energy, telecommunications, and banking sectors, re-nationalizing a spate of industries -- including private pension funds and fuel companies -- and passing a measure forcing banks to compensate borrowers for money lost after the currency's crash. Orban has also said that he aims to bring half the country's banks under domestic ownership as part of his government's effort to "consolidate" the banking sector; just this July, the government bought one of the country's biggest financial institutions, MKB Bank, from its German owners. 

These policies put Hungary's economy on the rocks, causing market turmoil. Today, though the economy has stabilized, the climate remains hostile to foreign investment.

All the while, Orban has continued to embrace contradiction as he sees fit. As he attacks Western capitalism, for instance, he has cut state support for education and has gutted the bargaining power of Hungary's labor unions. While he denounces "bureaucrats in Brussels" as imperialist oppressors, Hungary absorbs billions in EU funds. Meanwhile, he has increasingly borrowed rhetoric from Hungary's far-right Jobbik party, now the country's second-largest party in parliament -- and the only political force that poses any real threat to Orban's power. Jobbik has been called, among other things, fascist, neo-Nazi, and anti-Semitic. From the party, Orban has snatched and espoused ideas about a strong Hungary, in which ethnic Hungarians dominate. Some observers say Orban's flirtation with the far right is, like his other moves, a pragmatic decision aimed at ensuring that Fidesz maintains its dominant position -- but it also threatens to legitimize extremism.

It is likely that his July speech at Tusnadfurdo was Orban's latest effort to position himself at the forefront of what he sees as the next political movement that will garner him popular support: backlash against liberal democracy across Europe. According to Bozoki, Orban is very successful at identifying all of Hungary's social problems and political complaints and pledging responses to them -- "while not actually solving any of them. He is not building hospitals and schools. He is building football stadiums." (Orban, an avid football fan, has used state coffers toward building a fleet of football stadiums across Hungary, including an estimated $17 million arena in his home village of Felcsut.)

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Unsurprisingly, Orban has drawn comparisons to the strongman in the EU's backyard: Vladimir Putin. And, it seems, he has no problem with this. Both in style and substance, the similarities between President Putin's Russia and Orban's Hungary are already striking: Orban's growing concentration of political power, buoyed by a cartel of new Fidesz oligarchs controlling a wide spectrum of key industries (the commercial media, in particular), bears resemblance to the Putin model. Likewise, Orban's recent attacks on NGOs as "political activists attempting to promote foreign interests" -- a move critics say is aimed at shutting down civil rights groups and investigative-reporting NGOs, which are often critical of his policies -- mirrors Putin's mounting efforts to drive out NGOs, including a new law forcing groups to register as "foreign agents."

Since his re-election this April, Orban's anti-West saber rattling has only become more caustic, while he has simultaneously forged new economic alliances with Russia as part of his "opening to the East" policy. Just days before the April vote, Orban finalized a $13 billion loan agreement with Putin to rebuild Hungary's Paks Nuclear Power Plant -- a deal that indebts Hungary to Russia for the next 30 years. And at his "illiberal state" speech in July, Orban openly endorsed Russia as a "successful" model of political organization.

International observers have called Orban a "Trojan horse" for Moscow in the EU. According to the prime minister's international spokesperson, Zoltan Kovacs, however, "Hungarian-Russian relations are pragmatic, and the Hungarian government maintains them in the spirit of representing Hungarian national interests."

For Orban, money from the east comes with fewer strings -- and less required transparency -- than money from Brussels and the West. The prime minister's links with Russia also give him a powerful playing card in his dealings with the EU, which is struggling with rising skepticism of its regional role and lingering threats of dissolution. Orban has been savvy, toying with the EU's deepest fears and thus forcing Brussels to play diplomatic softball with him. Indeed, his moves since 2010 have plunged the EU into a crisis, exposing its inability -- or unwillingness -- to enforce the democratic principles and norms on which the union is based.

In 2011, more than 70 prominent members of the former democratic opposition in Central Europe -- many of them Orban's former colleagues, including former Czech President Vaclav Havel -- issued an impassioned plea (the "Budapest Appeal") to the EU, warning of the state that Orban was building within EU borders: "Today, the goal of a Europe united in liberty is in grave danger," the appeal stated. "What the European Union meant to prevent, and what many thought to be impossible, has now materialized." The group called on "European Parliamentarians and Commissioners, on Europe's governments and parties to build clear standards of compliance with the values of democracy."

The EU, however, failed to produce any substantive response to Orban's maneuverings. After numerous volleys between Budapest and Brussels, Hungarian lawmakers made minor revisions to some legislation, including the media laws and the constitution. Many on Hungary's left, who had been looking to Brussels for solutions, were left bewildered.

Amid the recent international clamor over the "illiberal state" speech, the EU has again largely remained silent. The New York Times' editorial board called on the European Commission "to respond with more than the usual admonitions and hand-wringing"; it said the commission should cut its $29.33 billion in subsidies to Hungary and suspend the country's EU voting rights.*   Yet so far, nothing has materialized.

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Orban the democratic freedom fighter appears lost to history. Yet in responding to questions about the prime minister's "illiberal state" speech, Kovacs, his spokesperson, insisted that Orban has been "consistent with regard to this issue for a long time by now." He pointed to a 2003 interview in the conservative daily Magyar Nemzet in which Orban discussed liberalism's decay: "What we thought was the world order until now has turned out to be a transitional state. The true new world order is taking form now," Orban said.

According to Kovacs, in Tusnadfurdo, Orban was "clearly talking about factors relating to the economy and state organization," not about fundamental human rights. Kovacs also stressed that the context of the speech was unique: an annual lecture series where "for the past 25 years Mr. Orban and many other prominent Hungarian politicians have been giving lectures to a summer-school audience that included at times stunningly new perspectives on politics and policymaking, especially regarding the 'Hungarian interest.'" Orban himself, in a weekly radio address on Aug. 15, discussed the benefits of his regime. "We say openly that we want to build a democracy -- not a liberal democracy, not one that is built solely on individual interests, but one which considers the public good as the most important thing," he said.

Bozoki, by contrast, calls Orban's speech "incredibly dangerous," as it "taps into Hungarian society's discontent with liberalism's failure to bring the economic benefits that it promised."

Many of Orban's former colleagues say that his moves have unraveled the democratic principles and safeguards that they worked early on to create. "This is an especially vivid example of the dangers of unlimited power," says Peter Molnar, a founding Fidesz member who left the party in 1993. "At the time, all parties shared a strong sense of the necessity of self-restraint of power," Molnar says. "But this [Orban's behavior] shows how careful we have to be about the sustainability of the institutional structures that limit concentration of power."

Orban has no plans of stepping aside anytime soon. Indeed, he seems keen on the same thing he always has: amassing more and more power.

This year, he announced plans to move into a palace in Budapest's Castle District: the former residence of kings during the Austro-Hungarian Empire and of Hungary's nationalist interwar strongman, Miklos Horthy. To many, this is a sign of how Orban views himself -- and how he views the control he has managed to assert over his country.

This article does not reflect the views of Central European University.  

Correction, Aug. 21, 2014: A tweet originally quoted in this article was incorrectly attributed to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. However, he does not maintain the Twitter account from which the quote came, so the quote was deleted. (Return to reading.)

Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images