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Will Hungary Yank ‘Laughing Jew’ Billboards Targeting George Soros?

The head of Hungary’s Jewish federation is calling on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to remove billboards with Jewish billionaire George Soros’ face that have popped up around the country.

Andras Heisler, president of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities, noted that anti-Semitic graffiti written on the government-funded billboards “recall Hungary’s dark periods.”

“The billboard campaign, while not openly anti-Semitic, can still very much unleash uncontrolled anti-Semitic and other feelings,” Heisler wrote. “This poisonous message hurts all of Hungary.”

The billboards feature a smiling George Soros with the words, “Let’s not let Soros have the last laugh.” In small print, the billboard reads, “99% Reject Illegal Immigration.”

The campaign uses “imagery that evokes memories of the Nazi posters during the Second World War showing ‘the laughing Jew’,” Human Rights Watch campaigner Lydia Gall told Reuters. “The campaign encourages anti-Semitism.”

Contact Ari Feldman at feldman@forward.com or on Twitter @aefeldman.

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