Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: West’s anti-Semitism ‘inconceivable’ in Hungary

The anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic developments seen in western Europe and in the United States would be "totally inconceivable" in Hungary, Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, said on Monday, adding that "conditions for a peaceful coexistence are fully ensured" in the country.
17. June 2024 16:40

Szijjarto held a joint press conference with Israel Katz, his Israeli counterpart, and expressed deep concern over increasing anti-Israeli tendencies in international organisations.

“Israel is entitled to fair and equal treatment in international organisations,” the foreign ministry quoted Szijjarto as saying, adding that the Hungarian government had always thwarted “unilateral, biased attacks and statements against Israel, and will continue to do so in future.”

Mounting modern-age anti-Semitism in Europe “is the result of an absolutely irresponsible migration policy, under which a vociferous minority can often override the will of a quiet majority,” Szijjarto said.

The minister said criticism of Hungary over anti-Semitism “by countries … who should at least keep quiet” was “absolutely shocking”.

The upcoming Hungarian European Union presidency would strive to “restore cooperation between the EU and Israel to the level of mutual respect,” Szijjarto said, urging the sides to conduct a dialogue and “suppress the tone of reprimanding and lecturing”. He added the Hungarian presidency would make preparations for association talks between the EU and Israel “in that spirit”.

Szijjarto said the Middle East crisis had had a big impact on global security and warned that the Gaza conflict could “easily become a global threat”. “Moreover, should the Gaza crisis and the war in Ukraine somehow be interconnected … we could face the real possibility of a global war,” he said.

According to the Hungarian government, “November 7 must not be repeated at any time or anywhere; the international community must defeat terrorist groups,” Szijjarto said. He also called for an immediate and unconditional release of all the hostages still held by Hamas, noting that the terrorist organisation had taken hostage five Hungarian nationals, three of whom had been released, one died, and the last one “is probably alive and hopefully soon to be released”.

“Civilian lives must be saved,” Szijjarto said, adding that terrorist organisations “using civilians as a shield for their own defence … is unacceptable, base cowardice.”

“Everything must be done to prevent escalation of the conflict, which could engulf the whole region in flames,” he said.

The ministry’s statement quoted Katz as thanking the Hungarian government for its support, adding: “Hungary is a true friend to Israel, their ties being founded on respect.” Katz said Hungary’s fight against anti-Semitism was exemplary, and wished to see similar efforts “in western Europe and in other parts of the world.”

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