(JNS.org) The Hungarian government said this week that a campaign featuring anti-Semitic posters of Jewish billionaire George Soros will come to an end Saturday, ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the country.
Posters featuring the Hungarian-born Soros were displayed in the country’s streets, depicting him grinning with the caption, “Let’s not let Soros have the last laugh.”
The posters, several of which were vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti, refer to Hungarian government assertions that the Jewish mogul donated billions to groups seeking to allow migrants into the country.
Soros referred to the campaign’s imagery as “anti-Semitic” in a rare statement issued July 11.
The posters are the latest media campaign in which Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s right-wing government boasts about its battle against migration, the European Union and Soros.
Israeli Ambassador to Hungary Yossi Amrani condemned the poster campaign, saying it “evokes sad memories but also sows hatred and fear.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry also criticized the campaign and requested “clarification” from Hungary regarding the imagery, but later retracted its comments, reportedly at Netanyahu’s request. Subsequently, Netanyahu’s critics said the prime minister abandoned his core values by demanding the purported retraction. An editorial by the left-wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz carried the headline, “Israel sides with anti-Semites.”
Netanyahu arrives in Budapest July 18 to meet with Orban and participate in a summit with leaders from the Visegrad Group—which includes Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia—during the first visit to Hungary by a sitting Israeli prime minister in 30 years.