Israel protests comparison between modern-day Hungary and Holocaust

November 30, 2020 by TPS
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Israel’s embassy in Hungary sharply rejected any “use and abuse of the memory of the Holocaust for any purpose” following an op-ed published in Hungary comparing its state to that of Jews in the Holocaust.

Striped pyjamas, one of the authentic exhibits in Yad Vashem, the world Holocaust Center on the western slope of Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, where the Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony took place. Jerusalem, May 5, 2016. Photo by Hillel Maeir/TPS

Demeter Szilárd, the director-general of the Petofi Museum of Literature and a high-ranking official in the ruling Fidesz Party, published an op-ed claiming that Hungary and Poland are “the new Jews” and that “Europe is the gas chamber of [Jewish philanthropist George] Soros.”

The Israeli Embassy released a statement on Saturday “utterly rejecting the use and abuse of the memory of the Holocaust for any purpose, as unfortunately appeared in an op-ed.”

“There is no place for connecting the worst crime in human history, or its perpetrators, to any contemporary debate, no matter how essential,” it added.

The Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary (MAZSIHISZ) called the article “tasteless” and “unforgivable.”

“In Auschwitz, more than 430,000 of our compatriots were gassed. Anyone who compares this in the context of current political debate, even indirectly, is insensitive to the pains of 20th century Hungarian history and Hungarian Jewry,” the organization stated.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) called the op-ed “Horrendous! Such ignorance of history and minimizing the Holocaust have to be called out.”

Soros, a billionaire and Holocaust survivor, has long been a controversial figure in Hungary and has been accused of being behind programs to settle millions of migrants from the Middle East and Africa in the European Union (EU) through organizations he funds.

TPS

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