Hungary to reporter: Return award over anti-Semitism row

By REUTERS
March 20, 2013 11:12

 
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BUDAPEST - A Hungarian government minister has asked a television journalist to return an award he was given last week after he was accused of anti-Semitism by Israel's ambassador to Hungary.

In a clip of one of his programmes from 2010, posted on YouTube, Ferenc Szaniszlo said Israel had been created by the West as a bastion against Arab-Muslim countries, but that it would lose its importance once the region's oil and gas ran out.

Israel's Ambassador Ilan Mor accused Szaniszlo of "spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories against Israel". The journalist for private Echo TV denies he made anti-Semitic comments.

Hungary gave the awards to some 200 academics, journalists and artists to mark a national holiday last week.

Human Resources Minister Zoltan Balog said he acknowledged he had made an erroneous decision in giving Szaniszlo the prize and requested the reporter return it as there were no means to force him to do so.

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