BUDAPEST - The president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary (MAZSIHISZ), András Heisler, asked Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Wednesday to take immediate measures to halt a government-run campaign targeting the Jewish businessman George Soros, citing its dangerous anti-Semitic undertones.
The campaign has been a center of focus on television, radio, online and print media, and has seen thousands of anti-Soros posters spread across the country. The campaign has led various anti-Semitic incidents including anti-Jewish scripts on posters, and vandalism of Holocaust memorials.
In his letter to Orbán, Heisler wrote:
“The Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary (MAZSIHISZ) has raised attention from the beginning that the “anti-Soros” campaign carries serious risks. This campaign is not openly anti-Semitic however it is very much able to raise uncontrolled, among other things, anti-Semitic anger. The recent days have given us the proof that our fear is not baseless. On the streets of Budapest and some other major cities across Hungary have arisen scripts that recall the dark times of Hungary’s history, but the invisible damages on the society is probably even more serious.
“As representative of our community and as Hungarian citizen I ask you and your government to immediately take measures to stop the campaign and to retract the posters from our streets and squares.
“You as our elected leaders have the historical responsibility not to let hatred spread out in our country and not to confront Hungarians against each other. These toxic messages harm all of Hungary. We raise our voice not only for ourselves but the protection of our pride of Jewishness and the dignity that is part of our Hungarian identity.
“Please consider my words and take steps in order that this bad dream shall come to an end.”
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.”
Lazar added that Hungarian Jews “should not be afraid because they can count on the Hungarian government, which always will defend them.”