Ilan Mor's letter to Magyar Hírlap editor-in-chief on Zsolt Bayer's "Intolerable" articles

April 12, 2016

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The following letter dated 4 April 2016 addressed to Magyar Hírlap Editor-in-Chief Péter Petán by Israel’s Ambassador to Hungary, Ilan Mor, was sent to us from the Israeli Embassy in Budapest.

Dear Mr. Petán,

I am utterly shocked and dismayed that a leading Hungarian political daily like your newspaper would publish several articles, written by Mr. Zsolt Bayer, under the title “Intolerable” – “Tűrhetetlen”.

What is indeed intolerable is the fact that these articles include carefully crafted history-cleansing remarks, presenting your readers with an “alternative history”, resulting also in the distortion of the true story of the Holocaust, the SHOA.

What is indeed intolerable is the clear fact that these articles openly advocate anti-Semitic sentiments and incite against the Jewish People and the State of Israel (see for example, articles #10, #14).

What is also intolerable is the writer’s attempt of accusing the Jewish People at imposing on all Non-Jews the memory of their deceased in the SHOA and/or those who suffered during this horrible time, and by doing so – allegedly, overshadowing other martyrs throughout history. This “Competitive Victimhood” or “Competition of Pain” (as formulated by the French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy) projected in Mr. Bayer’s articles, belongs without a doubt to what is considered by many experts and politicians, as modern day anti-Semitism.

I find it absolutely intolerable that these articles, not only relativize the SHOA, an unprecedented crime without parallel in history, but also make general and false accusations against the Hungarian Jews, as if they are to be blamed for the Hungarian tragedies, which took place throughout the 20th century.

In this context, it is important to mention the words of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks of England: “…Jews have been hated because they were rich and because they were poor; because they were capitalists and because they were communists; because they kept to themselves and because they penetrated everywhere; because they believed in tradition and because they were rootless cosmopolitans…”

Unfortunately, Mr. Bayer’s articles reflect this odd perspective toward the Jewish People, namely, “…It’s all the Jews fault – anti-semitism exists because of what Jews do, what Jews say or what Jews believe and Jews are to be blamed for all evils in the world – past, present and future…”.

Moreover, Mr. Bayer’s insinuations, assumptions, as well as his false accusations against the Jewish People and the State of Israel, the Jewish State, are not only wrong and misleading, but are also totally in contradiction to the official statements and positions of the Government of Hungary, which implements a policy of Friendship and Cooperation with the State of Israel.

All of the above is intolerable! Ez tűrhetetlen! (“This is intolerable!”-translation)

Therefore, as of today, the Embassy of the State of Israel will no longer subscribe to your newspaper.

Sincerely,

Ilan Mor

Ambassador of the State of Israel

CC:

H.E. Mr. Antal Rogán, Minister, Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister