Hungary’s Viktor Orbán is being fêted in Israel, where he is undertaking a large-scale official visit with a number of his senior ministers.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described the Hungarian as a “true friend of Israel” at a press conference to kick off the visit, where he will also meet President Reuven Rivlin and Chief Rabbi David Lau, as well as visiting the Jewish State’s famous Western Wall and the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre, where he will lay a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance.
“[Prime Minister Orbán’s] visit will promote the good bilateral relations as expressed, inter alia, by Hungary’s support of Israel’s position in European and international fora and by emphasizing the importance of the continued struggle against anti-Semitism,” the ministry notes in an official statement.
The Hungarian leader hosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Budapest last year, and was praised by his Israeli guest for being “at the forefront of the states that are opposed to… anti-Jewish policy”, and expressed “the appreciation of my government and many people in Israel for this”.
Budapest believes the Israel visit is “an important step in dispelling the charges of anti-Semitism in Hungary and the Orbán Government.”
Such accusations are a favourite with opponents of Orbán’s pro-sovereignty, anti-mass migration policies, citing his frequent clashes with billionaire plutocrat George Soros, an atheist open borders campaigner with Jewish roots — despite the Israeli government taking the unusual step of directly intervening to say that anti-Semitism accusations should not be used “to delegitimise criticism of George Soros, who continuously undermines Israel’s democratically elected governments by funding organisations that defame the Jewish state and seek to deny it the right to defend itself”.
Hungary: Smearing Legitimate Criticism of George Soros as Anti-Semitism Is ‘Cynical and Dishonest’ https://t.co/qTTkCuwjcT
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 15, 2017
The Hungarian government has boasted of a “Jewish renaissance” under Prime Minister Orbán, noting “number of important measures undertaken by Orbán’s government that affirm and protect our historic Jewish community”.
Budapest is also proud of the fact that the country is among the safest in Europe for Jewish people, with anti-Semitic attacks roughly 15 times rarer than in multicultural Britain — a sentiment which has been echoed by Jews visiting the Magyar capital from overseas.
“After violent attacks on Jews in German streets, the leaders of Germany’s Jewish community warned Jews last month not to wear a kippah or any other visible sign of Jewish identification in public,” observed PJ Media’s David Goldman in May.
“The French community issued such warnings years ago. Belgian TV could not find a single Jew in Brussels willing to wear a kippah in public.
“I walked across Budapest four times… and no-one looked at my kippah twice,” he said.
“Whatever residual anti-Semitism remains among Hungarians, it doesn’t interfere with the open embrace of Jewish life. There are no risks to Jews because there are very few Muslim migrants.”