Netanyahu arrives in Budapest with criticism from Hungarian Jewish group

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Budapest around 6:00pm today for a three-day visit, the first time a sitting Israeli leader has come to Hungary since 1989, reports HVG.

A few hours before his arrival, András Heisler, the president of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz), Hungary’s largest Jewish association, gave an interview to the AP in which he expressed his disappointment with the Israeli government’s shifting position on Hungary’s billboard campaign against billionaire George Soros, which it claimed was anti-Semitic.

“On July 8 the Israeli ambassador to Hungary called for an end to the anti-Soros billboards and posters, but a day later the Israeli foreign ministry issued a ‘clarification’ noting that while it deplored ‘any expression of anti-Semitism,’ it did not seek to ‘delegitimize’ criticism of Soros, a Budapest-born Holocaust survivor, accusing him of ‘continuously undermining’ Israel’s governments.”

According to Heisler, “The Israeli foreign ministry’s clarification … in part surprised us and in part was hugely disappointing.”