Krisztina Morvai in 2009
June 22, 1963 |
|Alma mater||Eötvös Loránd University
King's College London
|Elected on Jobbik ticket|
Krisztina Morvai (born 22 June 1963) is a Hungarian lawyer and politician . She was elected on the list of the political party Jobbik - Movement for a Better Hungary in the 2009 European Parliament elections. Although Morvai is not a member of Jobbik, the party already declared her as its future nominee for the position of the president of Hungary. She has caused frequent controversy, including for her allegedly antisemitic remarks.
Life and career
Morvai was born in Budapest in 1963 to parents Klári Fekete and Miklós Morvai. After graduating from ELTE Apáczai Csere János High School, she went to Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest, getting a law degree cum laude. After graduation she gained qualifications to practice as a judge in Hungary, but instead of working in that capacity she went on to teach at the university, currently as an associate professor. In 1989 she was the first recipient of a British Government scholarship for students in central Europe and was presented with her award by UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher personally. She used the scholarship to study advanced law at King's College London gaining a Master of Laws degree. In 1993-1994 she taught law in the United States at the University of Wisconsin–Madison as a Fulbright scholar. She primarily researches the area of penal law, dealing with the retrospective administration of justice, the question of abortion, victim's rights in criminal procedure, the dignity and rights of the HIV positive, child abuse and sexual exploitation, the problem of prostitution, discrimination and domestic violence. She is author of the book Terror a családban (Terror in the family) a book on domestic violence.
In the 1990s, Morvai worked for the European Commission of Human Rights where she was shocked to discover that the Commission spies electronically on the computer usage of its own researchers, and between 2003-2006 she was a member of the Women's Anti-discrimination Committee of the United Nations.
Morvai had come to international attention several times over various human rights issues. She was the Hungarian member of a UN Women's Rights Committee.
Morvai is the mother of three daughters, including twins. She was formerly married to Hungarian television reporter György Baló, but the couple divorced in 2011. After announcing her candidacy for the European elections, Morvai became a focus of attention for the media, shunning interviews with the United Kingdom press in light of what she saw as biased attacks. During the election campaign, Morvai said that if it entered parliament, Jobbik would join “one of the eurosceptic factions which will only form in the light of the election results”. On 7 June 2009, Morvai was elected MEP (Member of the European Parliament) along with two of her colleagues on the Jobbik ticket. After the election Morvai stated that despite the large amount of defamation Jobbik was calling on its political opponents to come together and cooperate to achieve the goals of the country. György Baló was not given his usual role of leading the election coverage to avoid accusations of bias.
Morvai has been called antisemitic, especially after her statement that "So-called proud Hungarian Jews should go back to playing with their tiny little circumcised tails." (The Hungarian word for "tail" is "fark" or "farok", also common slang for "penis", analogous to the words "prick" or "dick" in English.)
In the UN Women's Rights Committee Morvai conducted research into what she called the "inhumane living conditions" of Palestinian women, which resulted in a complaint being filed against her by the Israeli government. In 2006, after she was removed from her UN position, she complained that this was due to Israeli political pressure which resulted in her losing her seat and being replaced by a Hungarian Jewish woman, Andrea Pető, whom she described as "a well-known zionist activist". Pető, actually an activist of the feminist, Jewish traditionalist cultural foundation Esztertáska, did not receive the necessary votes to be confirmed to the committee. In March 2009 the Jewish Telegraphic Agency cited a report in a German weekly called Jungle World, according to which Morvai "advised" the "liberal-bolshevik zionists" to "start thinking of where to flee and where to hide" in a 2008 speech. Morvai was further criticized for anti-semitism for a letter addressed to the editors of the prestigious Hungarian literary weekly Élet és Irodalom in which she referred to the community to which the (presumably Jewish) author of the article she was responding to belonged as "his type" or "their type", while never actually using the words "Jew" or "Jewish". In February 2009, Morvai objected to Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip and called it a "mass murder" and "genocide" of the Palestinian people and in an open letter to the Israeli ambassador to Hungary wrote that Israel held itself above the law and that its leaders would be imprisoned for their actions in Gaza, she continued, "The only way to talk to people like you is by assuming the style of Hamas. I wish all of you lice-infested, dirty murderers will receive Hamas' 'kisses.'" In November 2009, Palestinian Return Centre, a pro-Palestinian advocacy organisation withdrew Morvai's invitation to a London conference in support of Palestine.
Morvai wrote an open letter to a Hungarian Jew living in New York:
"I would be glad if those who call themselves proud Hungarian Jews would go and play with their own little circumcised pricks instead of slurring me".
Morvai threatened and obscenely cursed the recipient of her letter. There was no legal or political ramification to her actions. She was elected to EP within the same time frame as her letters became public.
Morvai wrote an open letter to Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, United States Ambassador to Hungary, on the occasion that the ambassador visited the headquarters of three parties but not that of the Jobbik, on the night of the 2010 general election. This was answered by Richard Field, an American businessman, living in Hungary, the main financial supporter of the party Politics Can Be Different.
Books and articles
- Gender Discrimination – Related Cases Before the European Commission and Court of Human Rights. = Promoting Human Rights and Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe. 1995.
- What is Missing the Rhetoric of Choice? UCLA Women’s Law Journal. 1995.
- Magánügy-e a feleségbántalmazás? Belügyi Szemle.[vague] 1998/3. 55-71.
- Terror a családban. A feleségbántalmazás és a jog.[vague] Budapest, Kossuth Kiadó, 1998.
- KITTI Rettegés és erőszak – otthon Rejtjel Kiadó.[vague] – ISBN 963-7255-09-5
- Kispál, Gergely (June 10, 2009). "EP Elections - Interview with Jobbik candidate Krisztina Morvai". The Budapest Times.
- Vona a Jobbik kormányfőjelöltje, Morvai Krisztina pedig államfőjelölt
- (Hungarian) "Dr. Morvai Krisztina önéletrajza, (Curriculum Vitae of Krisztina Morvai)". . June 8, 2009. Retrieved June 8, 2009. "Dr. Morvai Krisztina önéletrajza...ELTE Állam és Jogtudományi Karán szereztem jogász diplomát. Bírói szakvizsgám, valamint LL. M (Master of Law) és Ph.D (régi fogalmak szerint kandidátus) tudományos fokozatom van"
- Jewish Telegraphic Agency
- Source of information, Gerard Mulholland in private conversation with Krisztina Morvai.
- "Jobbik’s new EU-candidate: Dr Krisztina Morvai". Jobbik. September 3, 2008. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
- , Politics.hu, July 6, 2011
- Freeman, Colin (May 24, 2009). "Feminine face of Hungary's far-Right Jobbik movement seeks MEP's seat". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
- Morvai Krisztina: "Nem leszünk második Palesztina"
- Amikor hiányzik Baló György
- Traynor, Ian (June 7, 2009). "Rightwingers set to wipe out leaders of Hungarian revolution". The Guardian (London).
- Women’s Anti-Discrimination Committee Voices Concern about Inequalities among Ethnic Groups, as It Takes up Israel’s Report "it was obvious that Palestinian women had a second-class status compared with Jewish women in Israel. The Government justified such treatment of Palestinian women without Israeli citizenship with security reasons..."
- Morvai Krisztina portréja: Gyurcsány miatt lett hazaszerető
- "Morvai v Pető" (in (English)). Heti Világgazdaság. August 7, 2006. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
- Hungarian Jews reeling from far-right party’s gains
- "Der Marsch auf Budapest" (in (German)). Jungle World. March 26, 2009. Retrieved June 8, 2009.
- Morvai's letter to Élet és Irodalom, 14 November 2008.
- Hungary far-rightist: I rejoiced at news of IDF deaths in Gaza, Haaretz, 6 February 2009
- BNP's European ally Krisztina Morvai axed from London conference after protests, The Observer, Sunday, 15 November 2009.
- Krisztina Morvai's letter to the American ambassador to Hungary
- An open letter to Krisztina Morvai from Richard Field
- Morvai Krisztina—Official web site
- Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom—Official web site of Jobbik (Movement for a Better Hungary) (English)