Hungarian prime minister wraps up two-day Israel visit

Viktor Orban confronted by Israeli protesters who accuse visiting PM of ‘anti-Semitism’

Hungarian prime minister wraps up two-day Israel visit

World Bulletin / News Desk

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Friday wrapped up a two-day official visit to Israel amid ongoing friction between his country and the EU over immigration policy. 

Orban arrived in Israel on Wednesday after which he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and a number of other Israeli officials. 

On Friday, Orban visited East Jerusalem’s Al-Buraq Wall (known to Jews as the “Western Wall”), wherein line with Jewish tradition -- he placed a prayer note.

In a statement, both Netanyahu and Rivlin voiced appreciation for what they described as the Hungarian government's “positive relationship with the State of Israel”.

Orban also visited Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, where he was confronted by Israeli protesters who accused him of “anti-Semitism”. 

For the past year, Orban has been accused by Hungary’s Jewish community of leading an “anti-Semitic propaganda campaign” against George Soros, an international Jewish “philanthropist” and champion of “left-wing” causes. 

At a joint press conference, however, Netanyahu defended Orban, describing him as “a true friend of Israel”.

“We have discussed the tragic events experienced by the Jewish people in Hungary,” the prime minister said.

Addressing his Hungarian counterpart, he added: “I hear you speak, as a true friend of Israel, of the need to combat anti-Semitism.” 

Orban, for his part, told reporters that “we [Hungary] have the largest Jewish community in Central Europe and my information is that they feel safe there”. 

“According to my definition,” he added, “this is not anti-Semitism”. 

Unlike most other European leaders who have visited the region, Orban did not make a stop in the Palestinian territories or meet with Palestinian officials.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Temmuz 2018, 15:43