Photo: Israeli Defence Forces (archive)

Szantho: Hungary may become Israel’s European support hub

Hungarian think-tank head Miklos Szantho has expressed his condolences to the families of the victims of the attacks in Israel, adding that the country had the right to self-defence, and he also accused "the international left wing" of providing ideological support for the terrorist attackers and of spreading of "a new European anti-Semitism".
9. October 2023 17:27

Addressing the Center for Fundamental Rights’ International Pro-Israel conference, Szantho said in his opening speech that the brutal attacks in Israel had endowed the conference with “chilling relevance”.

Hungary and Israel, he said, were “champions of sovereignty” because “we are willing to go against the international mainstream.”

Both, he added, protected traditions and a culture of respect for the nation and the respective role of religion.

Szantho insisted that “woke terrorists” had “put our God, our countries, and our families under fire”.

Hungary, he said, was a “safe space” for Jews, and Hungary’s tight border protection played a big role in this.

He said that crowds in Western Europe were celebrating the terrorist attack by Hamas, but this would be unimaginable in Budapest. The think-tank head also insisted that “woke progressivism” had given rise to “a new anti-Semitism”.

Peter Sztaray, the state secretary for security policy and energy security, said avoiding further escalation was the most important task before the international community. That requires a responsible approach from all countries in the region, he added.

Szabolcs Takacs, Hungary’s Ambassador to the US, said the “proponents of migration” were “importing radicalism”. Eight Democrat representatives of the American House of Representatives had tried to organise an event supporting Palestine, and similar events had been held in Europe, he said.

The EU commissioner for neighbourhood and enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi, said the European Commission would review its 700 million euro support for Palestine. The review will include support for currently running projects and funding for the coming years, he said.

Defence Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky said Hungary and Israel had “deep and full” relations that included defence cooperation. Hungary has purchased equipment from Israel to improve its capabilities, he said.

The Center for Fundamental Rights said the conference conveyed the message that “Hungary supports Israel with determination and unconditionally, and fights modern anti-Semitism; our shared Judeo-Christian civilisation is at stake,” the center said.

“We won’t be silent, we will stand up for Israel and for the victims and their families,” the statement said.

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