Published on July 12th, 2017 | by LedgerOnline0
Hungary’s Jewish leaders: Anti-Soros posters incite antisemitism
(JTA) – Hungary’s Jewish umbrella has called on Prime Minister Viktor Orban to halt a political campaign against Jewish-American billionaire George Soros, saying it is provoking more antisemitism. András Heisler, president of the Federation of the Hungarian Jewish Communities, or Mazsihisz, on Thursday, July 6, demanded a stop to the government campaign, which two weeks ago added billboards posted nationwide showing a grinning Soros and the words “Let’s not allow Soros to have the last laugh.” The government objects to Soros’ call for Hungary to allow migrants to enter the country. Several antisemitic incidents throughout the country apparently have been spurred by the campaign agains the Hungarian-born Soros. The latest occurred in Zalaegerszeg, where the town’s Holocaust memorial was damaged. Many of the posters also were defaced with antisemitic graffiti.
In an open letter, Heisler wrote: “The billboard campaign, while not openly antisemitic, can still very much unleash uncontrolled antisemitic and other feelings. This poisonous message hurts all of Hungary.” Orban’s chief of staff, János Lázár, told journalists on Thursday, “The Hungarian government’s goal is to stop Soros’ migrant campaign, which is supporting the migration of illegal migrants into our country. The government is not criticizing George Soros for his Jewish origin, but for his supporting the growing number of migrants entering in uncontrolled crowds into Europe.”
Hungarian Jews have called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel an official visit to Hungary scheduled for July 18.
Late last month, Orban included Horthy, a Hitler ally, among those he called “exceptional statesmen” in Hungary for leading the country following the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. Horthy signed anti-Jewish laws in 1938 and 1939, as well as in 1920.
In Israel, Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid on Wednesday also called on Netanyahu to cancel his visit to Budapest over Orban’s actions.