Out­rage at ban­knote slur

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY DANIEL SUGARMAN

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.”

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