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Viktor Orbán’s reply to Ronald S. Lauder: You are asking me to limit the freedom of the press

A few days ago, President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald S. Lautner wrote a letter calling on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to publicly condemn a picture published on the front page of Hungarian weekly magazine Figyelő (Observer), which the President believed is anti-Semitic.

“I am surprised however that you are asking me to limit the freedom of speech and the freedom of press. Despite all my respect for you, I cannot fulfil such a request. In fact, even this reply is only justified by our personal acquaintance and the respect I feel for you”, the Hungarian Prime Minister wrote.

“I am also confused by the fact that you seem tp grab a pen and paper only when a left-wing public figure of Jewish descent is at the centre of a debate. I have never received a letter from you when a citizen of Jewish descent, cooperative with the government or right-leaning, got in a similar situation. I am sending attached two prime examples of such occasions”, Mr. Orbán wrote, who according to his Press Chief attached front pages from previous editions of Hungarian weeklies Magyar Narancs and HVG to his letter.

“It is hard to comprehend the clear left-wing and liberal bias that you demonstrate in Hungarian public affairs. I am uncertain as to whether we should your letter a political document, or a stand taken for the Hungarian Jewish community. In case it’s the latter, thank you for it. Even if it is unnecessary”, Mr. Orbán wrote in closing.