Die Presse: Netanyahu’s visit defused anti-Semitism charge against Hungarian government

Die Presse writes why the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Hungary was important to the Hungarian government, as relayed by HírTV. According to the Austrian daily, Netanyahu’s visit makes it difficult for the opponents of Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán to label him an anti-Semite.

The paper’s correspondent, Boris Kálnoky, quotes Orbán as stating that Hungary has zero tolerance for anti-Semitism, the very thing that the prime minister and his government had been accused of in recent days.

Netanyahu attacks EU on open mic at V4 meeting in Budapest

Visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was caught on a hot mic calling the EU’s policy towards Israel “crazy” during a meeting in Budapest with the prime ministers of Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland today.

The meeting with the V4 premiers was otherwise a closed session, but Netanyahu’s remarks were transmitted into headphones worn by reporters, as reported by Haaretz.

“The European Union is the only association of countries in the world that conditions the relations with Israel, that produces technology and every area, on political conditions,” said Netanyahu, who called this arrangement “actually crazy.”

Orbán receives Netanyahu and admits “crime” in not protecting Jews in WWII

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán received visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Budapest today, and at a joint news conference Orbán claimed that Hungary has “zero tolerance” for anti-Semitism.

At the same conference, the Hungarian Prime Minister stated that “Hungary committed a crime when it did not protect its Jewish citizens,” according to 24.hu. As a sitting Israeli Prime Minister had not visited Hungary in nearly 30 years, Orbán claimed that Netanyahu’s visit would “open a new chapter in relations” between the two nations.

Orbán also added that “Hungary does not want to change its ethnic makeup, even if we have to admit that we are not perfect.”

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.”