President of Board of Deputies of British Jews had raised concerns over stance of Hungary’s PM and government
'A Hungarian government minister has accused a senior representative of British Jews of politically-motivated lying, telling her to “mind your own business” following a meeting in which she raised concerns about antisemitism.
The secretary of state, Vince Szalay-Bobrovniczky, wrote to Marie van der Zyl, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, this week to take issue with the board’s account of a meeting between the pair.
The board said the meeting, which took place on 8 February, was “an important opportunity to raise a number of the [BOD’s] long-standing concerns directly with the Hungarian government, including the use of antisemitic tropes and … moves to downplay the role of historical Hungarian leaders in supporting the Holocaust.”
Other issues raised by the board included the Hungarian government’s attitude to Muslims and migrants, and relations between it and Jewish communities in the country.
The board also raised language used by the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, in relation to the Hungarian-born Jewish philanthropist George Soros which, it said, “whether intentionally or not, represent[s] the oldest antisemitic tropes and this has to stop”.
Orbán attacked Soros at an election rally last year, saying: “We are fighting an enemy that is different from us. Not open, but hiding; not straightforward but crafty; not honest but base; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the whole world.”'
Read more: Hungary tells UK Jewish group to 'mind its own business' over antisemitism