Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hungary: Foreign Affairs Minister claims Jewish groups think antisemitism claims are exaggerated

Via Jerusalem Post:
US Jewish leaders are outraged that Hungarian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Levente Magyar accused them of describing recent comments about antisemitism in Hungary as “exaggerated.” The remarks in question were actually made by US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, who in a speech about global antisemitism referred to recent developments related to the issue in Hungary.

Power criticized a Hungarian state honor awarded to the journalist Zsolt Bayer, a notorious figure known for his antisemitic and anti-Roma rhetoric. She also referred to a proposal to erect a statue in honor of Balint Homan, an official who was a Nazi collaborator in Hungary.

Magyar met last week in New York with a variety of Jewish leaders and representatives, after which he issued a press release, saying: “Every single one of his Jewish negotiating partners said they regarded as exaggerated the recent speech by UN Ambassador Samantha Power in which she voiced her opinion about alleged antisemitism in Hungary.

“His negotiating partners were fully aware that such exaggerated assessments are the result of distorted information and statements that are translated badly, probably intentionally,” Magyar said.

Jewish representatives Magyar met with included those from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the World Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee and Chabad, as well as Satmar hassidim and the chief rabbi of Munkács.

Several of those groups demanded a retraction, after which the Foreign Ministry changed the words “every single one” to “many.” Many of the groups publicly distanced themselves from Magyar’s remark.

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