Hungary ‘insulted’ by Lauder’s statement on Open Society Foundations’ move to Berlin, says official
Hungary and its citizens are “deeply insulted” by public comments made by Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, concerning the move from Budapest to Berlin of the Open Society Foundations, the prime minister’s press chief said on Friday.
Lauder expressed concern about the Berlin move to Germany‘s Bild tabloid, saying
he did not agree “with everything that US billionaire George Soros says or does”, but he considered the treatment of a man “who has done so much” in central European countries to spread democracy after the fall of communism to be unworthy.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán addressed a letter to Lauder expressing disappointment in his statement, Bertalan Havasi told MTI.
“It is well known and obvious in Budapest that the reason for the Foundation’s move is that Hungary has introduced rules that extend transparency to organisations financed from abroad,” Orbán wrote in the letter.
“I would respectfully call your attention … to the fact that the Foundation and its founder bear personal responsibility for the growth of anti-Semitism in Europe.
They have brought people to Europe — among migrants — whose political and religious views have dramatically increased the vulnerability of our Jewish communities. In contrast, Hungary and its government protects European Jewish communities when it prevents the uncontrolled entry of migrants into the European Union.
“Our policy has moral and theoretical reasons, and also serves the idea of Jewish-Christian coexistence, in which we continue to believe with conviction. For this we do not expect any recognition, or gratitude from the World Jewish Congress, of course,” the letter says.