A minister in Viktor Orbán’s right-wing Hungarian government has warned that his people “don’t like globalist ideas” in a renewed attack on the billionaire philanthropist George Soros.
Balazs Orbán — Deputy Minister of the Office of the Prime Minister — accused Mr Soros, a Hungarian-born Jew, of “increasing the level of his campaign against us” through his Open Society Foundations (OSF).
But he told the JC claims of an upsurge in antisemitism under the Fidesz government in Hungary were “nonsense” and insisted there was in fact a “Jewish renaissance” in the capital Budapest.
Speaking after appearing at the Europe at a Crossroads conference in London on Monday, Mr Orbán — who is not related to the prime minister — said Mr Soros was “funding” a campaign of open attacks on the Hungarian government on the OSF’s Facebook page.
“All the articles that are shared by the Open Society Foundations are against the Hungarian government — in the Washington Post, in the New York Times, “ he said.
Asked if his government would tone down themes seen as verging on antisemitic following fierce criticism of its long-running campaign against Mr Soros from Jewish communal groups and others, he said: “We are definitely not stopping because his campaign is quite huge against us.”
Mr Orbán claimed Mr Soros had recognised his country objected to “globalist ideas” promoting the “super-national Brussels state and the open border policy”, and had switched tactics to campaign directly against “the rule of law” and the government in Hungary instead.
“What he is doing he is accusing the government on domestic policy issues like corruption or like these rule of law issues,” said Mr Orbán.
“He is not using a globalist idea against the government because it wouldn’t be popular. “
Mr Orbán insisted the constant claims of the Hungary’s drift to the far-right and a rising tide of antisemitic beliefs was “ridiculous.”
“There is an on-going Jewish renaissance in Budapest — I am so proud,” he said.
“Benjamin Netanyahu is saying that there is no antisemitism in Hungary. When the American ambassador, who is Jewish, (David Cornstein) is saying there is no antisemitism in Budapest I don’t have to prove anything.”