European Jewish Congress
Hungarian Jews concerned with Israel support for Orban government
Hungary
Hungarian Jews concerned with Israel support for Orban government

As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his way to Budapest for a three-day visit Monday, senior leaders of Hungary’s Jewish community expressed their disappointment over his handling of two recent controversies in which they felt he “deserted” them.

The president and a senior rabbi of the country’s largest Jewish organisation urged Netanyahu to rectify the impression that he was putting political concerns ahead of Israel’s ties with Diaspora Jewry.

“The mood here is very bad and bitter,” Andras Heisler, who heads the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary, also known as Mazsihisz, the country’s EJC affiliate, told The Times of Israel in his central Budapest office.

“We are waiting for Bibi to emphasise in his speech the importance of the relations between Israel and the Diaspora,” he said, using Netanyahu’s nickname.

Netanyahu on Monday afternoon arrived in Hungary for the first visit of an Israeli prime minister in the country since the end of Communism. On Tuesday and Wednesday, he was scheduled to meet several times with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has been embroiled in two recent controversies surrounding the country’s 100,000-strong Jewish community.

First, Orban hailed, as an “exceptional statesman,” the country’s wartime leader and Nazi ally Miklos Horthy, who enacted anti-Jewish laws and under whose watch over half a million Jews were deported to Auschwitz during the Holocaust. Then, he launched and defended a poster campaign targeting Hungarian-born Jewish billionaire George Soros, accusing him of seeking to flood the country with refugees.

Orban was heavily criticised by Jewish leaders from across the globe, and some Knesset members called on Netanyahu to cancel his trip, in light of his host’s praise for a Hitler ally and over his anti-Soros campaign, which critics said toyed with antisemitic stereotypes.

Heisler, who has been the president of Mazsihisz since 2013, met Netanyahu’s senior foreign policy adviser Jonathan Schachter two weeks ago, in Jerusalem, and asked him to address the painful issues. “I told him Netanyahu should fix this.”

 Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Life in Israel
  • Massive section of Western Wall and Roman theatre uncovered after 1,700 years
    Archaeologists are one step closer to solving the riddle of what took place in Jerusalem following the destruction of the city by Romans in 70 CE.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 Massive section of Western Wall and Roman theatre uncovered after 1,700 years
  • Israel targets fashion industry over underweight models
    Israeli lawmakers want to tighten a ban on the employment of underweight models and on the undeclared digital slimming-down of fashion images, amid concern that the measures are being routinely flouted even as they are adopted abroad.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 Israel targets fashion industry over underweight models
  • Work on Israel-Cyprus-Greece electricity link to start in 2018
    A Cypriot official said work on an electric cable linking the power grids of Israel, Cyprus and Greece is on track to start in the first quarter of 2018 after Greek and Cypriot regulators approved the project.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 Work on Israel-Cyprus-Greece electricity link to start in 2018
  • In Israel, ultra-Orthodox women emerge as high-tech entrepreneurs
    While Silicon Valley is just beginning to confront decades of sexism and discrimination, female founders in Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community say their segregated gender roles have an unintended benefit -- encouraging growing ranks of women entrepreneurs.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 In Israel, ultra-Orthodox women emerge as high-tech entrepreneurs
  • First fully disabled-accessible synagogue opened in Jerusalem
    Construction of the first fully disabled-accessible synagogue in Jerusalem is about to be finished, giving disabled worshipers easy access to the compound, with comfortable seating arrangements for wheelchair-bound visitors, Braille bibles and more.

    On Wednesday, October 11, 2017 First fully disabled-accessible synagogue opened in Jerusalem
  • Survey: 60 percent of Arab Israelis have a positive view of the state
    A poll of Israeli Arabs has found that sixty percent surveyed said they had a favourable view of the state, while 37% said their view was unfavourable.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Survey: 60 percent of Arab Israelis have a positive view of the state
  • Israel's trade with Russia leaps by 25 percent
    Trade between Israel and Russia has grown this year by 25 percent, officials from both countries revealed, amid complications with other Russian trading partners.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Israel's trade with Russia leaps by 25 percent
  • Israel aims to double the number of people working in hi-tech
    The Israel Innovation Authority aims to double the number of high-tech workers in the country over the next decade, while encouraging companies in older industry to use more technology and become more innovative, the authority said in its annual report released on Sunday.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Israel aims to double the number of people working in hi-tech
  • 20,000 Gazan lulavs arrive in Israel
    A shipment of 20,000 date palm fronds were transported on Monday from the Gaza Strip to Israel where they were to be sold for use in a traditional Jewish religious ritual during the coming Sukkot holiday, the Defence Ministry said.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 20,000 Gazan lulavs arrive in Israel
  • Israeli intelligence helped to thwart dozens of terror attacks around the world
    The Israeli intelligence community has shared information with other countries over the past two years that has helped thwart dozens of terror attacks about to be perpetrated by Islamists who were in contact with members of Islamic State and Middle Eastern factions identified with Al-Qaida.

    On Thursday, September 28, 2017 Israeli intelligence helped to thwart dozens of terror attacks around the world
President's Page Security and Crisis Centre by EJC European Parliament Working Group On Antisemitism