Hungary Blocks ‘One-Sided’ EU Statement on Israel-Palestine Conflict

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands during a press conference after their meeting in Jerusalem on February 19, 2019. - Netanyahu seeks to save face after a summit with four central European nations is cancelled over a Holocaust-linked dispute with Poland, instead …
ARIEL SCHALIT/AFP via Getty Images

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has condemned “one-sided” statements on Israel from the European Union and declined to agree to a statement calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Foreign ministers from across European Union member-states called for a ceasefire between the Islamist terrorist group Hamas and the democratic state of Israel, but Hungary’s Foreign Minister Szijjarto refused, after claiming that he had a problem with the bloc’s statements on Israel.

“I have a general problem with these European statements on Israel,” Szijjarto said, adding that “These are usually very much one-sided, and these statements do not help, especially not under current circumstances, when the tension is so high,” Agence France-Presse reports.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, meanwhile, said that the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians should relaunch “as quickly as possible and find a path to dialogue.”

European Union members are split on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, with states such as Ireland, Malta, Finland, and Belgium outwardly defending the Palestinians, while Hungary, Poland, Austria, Greece, and the Czech Republic often speak out to defend Israel’s right to defend itself.

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban is also a noted ally of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In 2017, the Israeli leader made the first official visit to Hungary of any sitting Israeli prime minister and praised Prime Minister Orban and his government, saying: “I also want to thank you, Prime Minister, for standing up for Israel in international forums. You have done that time and again.”

A year later, Orban visited Israel where he was greeted as a “true friend of Israel” at a press conference by Netanyahu.

Despite his pro-Israel stance, Orban has been accused by some on the left of antisemitism for his criticism of billionaire migration activist George Soros, who is ethnically Jewish — but the Hungarian leader hit back against the allegations in 2019 during an interview with German newspaper Die Welt.

“Hungarian Jews enjoy the protection of the government. Also, we conduct a consistently pro-Israeli foreign policy,” Orban told the paper and added, “Because we are convinced that the existence of a Jewish state is not only important for European Jews but that the security of Israel is a key question for the stability of Europe.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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