Outrage at banknote slur
THE HUNGARIAN Jewish community has expressed outrage after one of its leaders was pictured surrounded by banknotes on the cover of a pro-government magazine, saying the image “revives centuries-old stereotypes against our community.”.
Andras Heisler, head of Mazsihisz, the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities, was featured on the front page of Figyelo, a magazine that supports Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
The article accused both Mr Heisler and Mazsihisz of accounting irregularities in a state-funded synagogue renovation project in Budapest, allegations the organisation strongly denies.
Mazsihisz described the depiction of Mr Heisler as “incitement against a religious leader — without any factual basis” and said was “unprecedented” in the country since the end of Communism.
In the UK, Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl called it “abhorrent”. She said: “It perpetuates centuries-old stereotypes and tropes against the Jewish community. We call on the Hungarian government to condemn this act.’’ The American Jewish Congress added it was “shameful, especially since Prime Minister Orbán has declared a ‘zero tolerance policy’ on antisemitism.”