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Thursday, March 20, 2014 | return to: news & features, international


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White powder mailed to Jewish leader in Hungary

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An envelope containing white powder sent to a representative of Hungary’s Jewish communities did not contain dangerous materials.

The envelope was mailed last week to Andras Heisler, president of the Mazsihisz federation of Hungarian Jewish communities, according to a March 12 report by the ATV station.

Separately, police in Tatabanya, which is approximately 30 miles west of Budapest, reported that swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans were daubed on several tombstones in the city’s Jewish cemetery. No suspects have been apprehended.

On March 24, hundreds of European rabbis are scheduled to convene in Budapest for the biannual conference of the Rabbinical Center of Europe.

“The choice of Hungary as the host country for the event is designed to demonstrate to the Hungarian authorities the common concerns of European Jewry regarding the situation of the Hungarian Jewish community, as well as sending out a message of solidarity with the Hungarian Jewish community, and European Jewry as a whole,” the center’s director, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, wrote in a statement.

Jobbik, a far-right party with a history of anti-Semitism, is the third largest party in Hungary with 43 of the 386 seats in Parliament.

Earlier this year, the Mazsihisz organization and other Jewish groups said they would not attend government-led commemorations on the 70th anniversary of Hungary’s occupation by the Nazis because the government was obfuscating the role played by Hungarians in the murder of Hungarian Jews. — jta


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