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Insider criticism of MAZSIHISZ anniversary boycott

April 18th, 2014

Representatives of a prominent Jewish foundation condemn the decision by the Union of Jewish Religious Communities (Mazsihisz) to boycott state ceremonies held during the Holocaust remembrance year. They call that decision a serious error of judgement which has already resulted in strengthening anti-Semitism.

In a lengthy Népszabadság article, Dániel Bodnár, Chairman of the TEV Foundation, a Jewish organisation set up to fight anti-Semitism, and former SZDSZ MP András Bőhm, a TEV Board member accuse the leadership of Mazsihisz of radicalism and of allowing the left-wing opposition to play “the Jewish card” without regard for the foreseeable consequences. TEV is otherwise closely associated with Mazsihisz, whose chairman András Heisler is himself a TEV Boad member, but the authors argue that the Mazsihisz leadership has let itself be led into a conflict with no positive way out. The competence of an organisation representing the Jewish community in the field of politics, they suggest, does not extend beyond protesting against anti-Semitism. Bodnár and Bőhm dislike the controversial Nazi occupation monument both aesthetically and historically, but strongly condemn Mazsihisz for boycotting the state ceremonies of Holocaust remembrance and rejecting government anniversary remembrance grants. The opposition drew great satisfaction from the collision between the Jewish community and the government, they remark, but “an increase of anti-Semitism is already palpable” as a result. “This failure will have to be accounted for”, they conclude.

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