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Jewish leader against fear-mongering

September 29th, 2016

In a rare oped piece, the chairman of MAZSIHISZ, the Alliance of Hungarian Jewish Faith Communities criticises the World Zionist Conference held in Budapest for complaining about anti-Semitism in Hungary without gathering accurate information first about Jewish life in the country. He condemns political forces which he accuses of playing  the ‘Jewish card’ in order to stoke fear towards their adversaries.

In a guest column on HVG.hu, András Heisler who apart from heading MAZSIHISZ is also Vice-Chairman of the World Jewish Congress, warns that Jewish people should not be used by political forces as a tool in their battles. In his article entitled ‘Farewell to the Jewish Card’, he deplores what he calls ‘the repeated mistakes’ of Jewish organisations in Hungary who have secluded themselves from the rest of society and ‘used the issue of anti-Semitism as a tool’ in their efforts to position themselves on the side of political parties. András Heisler criticises the Zionist World Congress for addressing anti-Semitism as the only theme of the conference ‘as if Jewish people in Hungary had no other concerns’. They should have invited experts on the subject who would have told them otherwise, he remarks. Of course, he concludes, anti-Semitism is an issue, but fear-mongering about it on any side of the political divide is something Jewish organisations should not indulge in.


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