Hungarian Diplomat to Wiesenthal Center: Anti-Semitic Writer will not Become Budapest's Ambassador to Italy

July 25, 2014
 
Diplomats at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington have told an official of the Simon Wiesenthal Center that the Hungarian government is rescinding the nomination of anti-Semitic writer, Peter Szentmihalyi Szabo to be the nation's ambassador to Italy.
 
Mark Weitzman, the SWC's Director of Government Affairs, who received the news of the rescinded appointment, said, "this is an outrageous nomination that never should have been made and that it shames the Hungarian government that originally proposed it."
 
In his initial protest, Weitzman condemned the nomination as an "outrageous act (that) can only serve to raise more questions about the commitment of the Hungarian government to fighting anti-Semitism, bolsters the forces of political and social extremism and serves to delegitimize any attempts for Hungary to present itself as an international leader in Holocaust remembrance," Weitzman added.
 
Hungary's official commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the deportations of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust has been marked by a series of controversial actions that appear to be whitewashing Hungarian collaboration and distorting the history of Hungary and the Holocaust. These actions have been criticized by many democratic governments and led the Hungarian Jewish community to officially boycott the commemorative activities.
 
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).