The Fidesz-led Hungarian government has launched a nationwide billboard and television advertising campaign targeting George Soros, founder of the Open Society Foundations. The campaign uses an image of a grinning George Soros with the slogan “Let’s not allow Soros to have the last laugh!”, with thousands posted around the country on billboards, on the metro, and on the floors of Budapest’s trams so that people cannot enter the tram without trampling on Soros’s face.
Some of the posters have been defaced with hateful graffiti such as “stinking Jew” scrawled across Soros’s face. The government has spent $12.9 million (5.7 billion HUF) on the campaign so far.
Because of its anti-Semitic overtones, the campaign has created an outcry amongst Hungary’s Jews and others. The leader of the Federation of the Hungarian Jewish Communities has called for an immediate removal of the poster as has Israel’s ambassador in Budapest.
Fidesz rejects charges that the campaign is anti-Semitic in nature and claims that the Hungarian government’s goal is to stop Soros’s “migrant campaign”, which they claim is promoting the immigration of a million illegal immigrants into Europe. The government has consistently and willfully misrepresented Soros’s views on migration and refugees.
Soros’s actual position on migration is that the international community should provide more support to the developing countries that today host 89% of refugees and that Europe should accept several hundred thousand fully screened refugees through an orderly process of vetting and resettlement. He believes that qualified asylum seekers should not have to risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean to reach safety.