The Hungarian government has demanded an apology from the Joe Biden administration for spreading a “false” story about a Holocaust memorial being vandalised.
Speaking at what was described as a ‘High-Level Side Event on Globalizing Efforts to Combat Antisemitism’ by the United States Mission to the United Nations earlier this month, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield had alleged that, alongside a Jewish grave site being vandalised with a swastika, a Russian missile striking a Ukrainian synagogue, and “someone with hate in their heart” throwing a Molotov cocktail at an American synagogue in New Jersey, a “Holocaust memorial was vandalised in Hungary.”
Western officials and commentators have often suggested that Hungary is a hive of anti-Semitism, particularly when the government has criticised the by-his-own-account atheist plutocrat George Soros, despite the Israeli government coming to Budapest’s defence — but this latest accusation has caused particular outrage because the event described by the U.S. ambassador apparently never took place.
State Secretary Zoltán Kovács, a key representative of the Hungarian government to the outside world, wrote that “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,” he suggested.
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Kovács said that the Hungarian Embassy to the UN immediately requested a public correction and formal apology from the U.S. Embassy — but that the Biden administration has “so far refused to comply.”
This is seemingly not because Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield or her officials believe that a Holocaust memorial really was vandalised in Hungary — indeed, the section of her speech referring to the incident has been struck through, with an annotation noting that it is in fact Sweden, a generally pro-mass migration, pro-multiculturalism European Union member-state, certainly compared to national conservative Hungary, where a memorial “honouring the diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during the Holocaust, was vandalised.”
“It is outrageous that the U.S. ambassador made unfounded and false allegations about Hungary in front of a wide audience at the UN,” the Hungarians have complained, suggesting that the silent, post hoc correction on the American embassy’s website is far from sufficient redress.
“[N]o clarification or apology was issued, which would be the bare minimum in such a situation,” they insisted.
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