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Dec 07, 2018

PM Orbán hits back over Ronald S. Lauder claims that Hungary should “limit freedom of speech and the freedom of the press”

The prime minister wrote that “despite my respect for you, I cannot fulfil such a request"

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has hit back at Ronald S. Lauder over his claims that Hungary should “limit freedom of speech and the freedom of the press”. Lauder called on the prime minister to condemn an image that appeared on the cover of Figyelo, which Lauder says is anti-Semitic.

The prime minister wrote that “despite my respect for you, I cannot fulfil such a request”. Hungary’s government “pursues a policy of zero tolerance regarding anti-Semitism,” and the government’s actions “leave no doubt” that it feels responsible for Hungary’s Jewish citizens and works to guarantee their security. PM Orbán also reassured Lauder that the WJC can count on Hungary’s zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism.

The issue was today highlighted on the Government’s International Spokesman’s Twitter feed, where he also included two examples of magazine covers that include right-leaning Jewish leaders.

"I am uncertain as to whether we should consider your letter a political document, or a stand taken for the Hungarian Jewish community." - PM Orbán's letter responding to the President of the @WorldJewish Mr Ronald S. Lauder, Zoltán Kovács wrote.

PM Orbán also told Lauder that it was “hard to comprehend” his “left-wing and liberal bias”. The prime minister said he was unsure whether to interpret the letter as a political statement or a show of support for the Jewish community. He added that he would express his gratitude to the WJC president if it were the latter.