(JTA) — Hungarian Jews condemned a public broadcaster’s airing of an allegedly anti-Semitic rhetoric against billionaire George Soros, and a state news agency’s silence about it.
The main news program of the state MTVA channel aired on Wednesday the controversial rhetoric on Soros, who recently became the subject of hostile statements by Hungary’s top politicians over his funding for groups opposed to the policies of the rightwing government.
The news show, Hirado, carried quotes by Iran’s supreme spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, calling Soros “an evil Zionist-American multi-billionaire” and stating that Soros is responsible for destabilizing and defeating former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime.
Soros is also funding groups widely deemed to have an anti-Israel agenda, as well as Israeli groups with a critical attitude toward the Israeli government’s policies.
Mazsihisz, the umbrella group of Hungarian Jewish communities, condemned the inclusion of this quote by Khamenei, which echoes the purest and most common form “of anti-Jewish sentiments in the Hungarian extreme-right media,” Mazsihisz said in a statement Friday.
The statement also noted that the MTI state news agency declined to quote Mazsihisz’s statement or report about it, citing, according to Mazsihisz, concerns that it might “damage the credibility of the state media and its business interests.”