If I had only read the first half of the article “How anti-Semitic is Viktor Orbán?,” published on Tuesday in German daily Bild, I just might have congratulated the author for finally embracing the facts and commending Prime Minister Orbán’s government for its efforts to promote Jewish life in Hungary since 2010. But no. That would have been too much – especially for Bild.
“The Hungarian government promotes Jewish life in Hungary and it’s experiencing a real renaissance,” Bild’s Philip Fabian writes in the first part of his article, mentioning renovations of Synagogues, Hungary hosting the European Maccabi Games, PM Orbán’s friendship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a list of other measures ensuring that Hungary remains a safe haven for European Jewry. (Here’s more on the reality of Jewish life in Hungary.)
So good so far. But then we get that tired argument about Soros.
According to Bild, Prime Minister Orbán is anti-Semitic due to his “partially anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish billionaire George Soros.” Except that those “attacks,” as I also wrote in a blog post two weeks ago, have nothing to do with George Soros’s religion or background. It’s about his politically-driven activity aimed at undermining national governments that oppose his pro-migration agenda.
Bild goes even further. In his nationalist speeches, Fabian writes, Orbán makes “cliché allusions” to a “global conspiracy” in which “he doesn’t even need” to label them Jewish because people know it simply from his “code words,” such as “globalists” or “international finance capital.”
Let’s turn this around. If someone can only think of Jewish people when PM Orbán talks about a globalist, pro-migration elite that has the financial means to carry out illegitimate international campaigns – then maybe the anti-Semites are not in fact us, but them.
Ultimately, here’s a question for those who fancy a brief intellectual exercise: Whose interest does it serve when the German press turns out a steady supply of biased, anti-Hungary content day in and day out?