The Hungarian government has brought an end to an ‘anti-Semitic’ poster campaign, decrying the alleged influence of international financier George Soros on national affairs, to a premature halt amidst global protest.
A grinning Soros, a Hungarian émigré who happens to be a Jew, is featured prominently on billboards around the country and in full-page newspaper ads paid for by the nationalist government of Viktor Orban, captioned: “Don’t let Soros have the last laugh’.
The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Federations has criticised the campaign as being reminiscent of ‘Europe’s darkest hours’ but the government refutes that the propaganda is in any way anti-Semitic.
Soros has stoked the ire of government officials through his funding for pro-democracy and human rights groups and has been a champion of immigration.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to visit Budapest next week and has lent his support to Hungary via the Israeli foreign ministry which said Soros was a legitimate target for criticism.
Anti-Semitism remains a live issue with clothing chain Zara forced to withdraw a line of garments resembling the uniform of holocaust prisoners while fallen YouTube star PewDiePie was stripped of preferred ad status in a separate scandal.