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PM Orbán’s visit to Israel

July 21st, 2018

A left-wing columnist describes the friendship between Mr Orbán and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel as an ’infernal game’, while a pro-government reporter underlines the shared stance of the two statesmen against radical Islam.

Népszava’s Róbert Friss condemns statements by Israeli officials, including the Israeli ambassador to Budapest who praise the Hungarian government for its ’zero tolerance’ policies toward anti-Semitism. He accuses PM Netanyahu of supporting a ’dictatorship in the making’ for the sole reason that Mr Orbán stands against Islam. He accepts an assessment by the leftist French daily Libération according to which Mr Orbán is conducting anti-Semitic policies, as exemplified by his anti-Soros campaign. Nevertheless, Friss also acknowledges the existence of ’zero tolerance towards anti-Semitism’ in the government’s attitudes but believes that it will only last ’as long as Jewish people can be made to believe that … they can only be rid of their fear of Islam by an authoritarian leader’.

In her report on the two-day summit in Jerusalem in Magyar Idők, Réka Zetelaki points out that the accusations of anti-Semitism levelled against the Hungarian government were flatly debunked by the Israeli Prime Minister who called his Hungarian counterpart ‘a true friend’. She also quotes Mr Orbán as saying that while in the West modern forms of anti-Semitism are on the rise, in Central Europe anti-Semitism is decreasing. Zetelaki also deems it important that apart from expanding co-operation with Hungary, Mr Netanyahu also said he plans to host a summit in Jerusalem with the leaders of the Visegrád 4 countries before the end of this year.

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