Hungarian news site nyugat.hu has published a recording made during a city council committee hearing in the western Hungarian city of Szentgotthárd on November 16th. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the government’s proposal to expand a nearby refugee camp.
Gábor Huszár, who has served as the mayor of Szentgotthárd since 2010, apparently sought to placate concerns over the prospect of a nearby refugee camp being expanded by arguing that refugees had nothing to do with the November 13th terrorist attacks in Paris, which he blamed on Israeli-backed “business circles”, i.e. Jews.
In the recording Huszár (Fidesz) can be heard explaining the following:
“Everyone should just take my word for it. What happened in Paris is clear evidence that certain business circles, dare I say business circles which are likely backed by the Jewish state, are trying to pit Christian Europe against the Islamic State. Therefore, the existence of this camp can have nothing to do with the Paris terror attacks.”
The mayor warned city council members that if they say ‘no’ to government plans to expand the refugee camp, then the city might end up on bad terms with the government. However, the mayor said, if the town council says ‘yes’, then the city might stand to receive a lot of money from the national government.
One city council member called this blackmail.
The Israeli embassy in Budapest reacted by releasing a statement condemning Huszár’s “false and laughable statements”.
According to the embassy, “the mayor’s statement again proves that there are those who have not learned from history and continue to propagate negative views and conspiracy theories against the Jewish state, Israel. Such statements have led to the great tragedy of Jews in Hungary. Unfortunately, these false and laughable statements were by a public figure, Szentgotthárd’s mayor”.
Huszár subsequently apologized for his “unfortunate statement”.