In opening remarks delivered at a High-Level Side Event on Globalizing Efforts to Combat Antisemitism last week, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield made a statement about Hungary that’s built entirely on false information.
“Last week, swastikas were spray-painted on a Jewish grave site in Australia. A Holocaust memorial was vandalized in Hungary. A Russian missile hit a Ukrainian synagogue,” Thomas-Greenfield said at the event, listing a handful of recent anti-Semitic hate crimes.
While the Hungarian government employs a zero-tolerance policy and condemns any kind of anti-Semitism, representatives of Hungary stood puzzled by Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield’s claims, as no such act of vandalism had occurred in Hungary for years. In fact, Hungary is one of the safest countries for Jewish people in Europe, with Jewish communities experiencing a “renaissance” for more than a decade now.
The Hungarian Embassy to the UN immediately requested a public correction and formal apology from the U.S. Embassy, but the Americans have so far refused to comply. In fact, it looks like U.S. diplomacy, for its part, considers the matter closed by crossing out the part of the speech that refers to Hungary.
It is outrageous that the U.S. ambassador made unfounded and false allegations about Hungary in front of a wide audience at the UN, and the Hungarian delegation was not even given the opportunity to speak up and could only file a complaint following the event.
Currently, behind closed doors, the U.S. delegation has admitted that it made a mistake, as it was in Sweden where Raoul Wallenberg’s statue had been vandalized. But beyond that, no clarification or apology was issued, which would be the bare minimum in such a situation.