Israeli official says Hungary not ready to face its Shoah role

BUDAPEST, Hungary (JTA) — Israel’s foreign ministry accused Hungary of not being ready to face its role in the Holocaust.

Hungarian Ambassador to Israel Andor Nagy told the Hungarian media over the weekend that Rafi Schultz, deputy director for European Affairs at Israel’s foreign ministry, told Nagy that there were doubts in Israel over Hungary’s willingness to confront its past in a “direct and brave manner.”

Nagy was summoned to Israel’s foreign ministry on Feb. 13.

Schultz questioned Nagy about the official Hungarian position on several issues, including Hungary’s observance of the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust, and the growing anti-Semitism in the country.

The main Hungarian Jewish umbrella group, Mazsihisz, said in a decision issued early last week that it would “stay away” from the government’s Holocaust year events over plans to build a memorial to the German occupation, controversial remarks by the director of a government-sponsored research institute and the government’s refusal to share plans or involve Mazsihisz in building a second Holocaust museum in Budapest.

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