Following her meeting with Hungarian Secretary of State Vince Szalay-Bobrovniczky this week, Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl, said:
“This was an important opportunity to raise a number of the Board of Deputies’ long standing concerns directly with the Hungarian government, including: the use of antisemitic tropes, and remarks directed at Muslims and migrants; moves to downplay the role of historical Hungarian leaders in supporting the Holocaust; the threatened closure of the Aurora Jewish community centre; and relations between the Government of Hungary and the Federation of Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz).
“In particular, we were clear that while it might be legitimate to have a range of opinions about the causes supported by George Soros, some of the language used against Mr Soros by Prime Minister Orban and others, whether intentionally or not, represent the oldest antisemitic tropes and this has to stop. We said that a clear test on the Hungarian Government’s good-will on the subject of the history of the Holocaust will be whether the new museum, the House of Fates, can command the support of the mainstream Hungarian Jewish community, including the Federation of the Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz) and key international Holocaust research institutes like Yad Vashem.
“We had a respectful and honest dialogue on these matters, while also acknowledging the positive actions of the Hungarian Government, including moves to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism, strong bilateral relations with Israel, and the investment in the forthcoming Maccabi Games in Budapest.”