Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met visiting Hungarian President Janos Ader Tuesday, and in addition to discussing the usual topics – Iran, the changing Middle East and the Palestinians – Netanyahu also voiced concerns about anti-Semitism in Hungary.
“There is concern in Israel and the Jewish world over a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Hungary,” Netanyahu said. “Such a dangerous phenomenon must be uprooted before it can spread.”
Concern about anti-Semitism in Ader’s central European country increased since the Jobbik party – which has a blatantly anti-Jewish, anti-Israel and anti-Roma platform – entered parliament as the third-largest party after the 2010 elections.
While Jobbik parliamentarians regularly spout anti- Semitic positions, there have been few physical attacks.
Prime Minister Victor Orban’s Fidesz party – which dominates the parliament – has condemned Jobbik’s anti-Semitic rhetoric.
Netanyahu said it was critical to “cut off the weed” before it grows. Anti-Semitism, he said, is an “unnecessary disease.”
Ader, during his meeting with Netanyahu, underscored his firm opposition to any manifestation of anti- Semitism. He said that since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1990 when Hungary became democratic, there has been a consistent attitude of the political elite in his country against anti-Semitism.
Ader called anti-Semites “lunatics,” and said there was no room for them in his country. The Hungarian president said that Israel’s security was “one of the most important priorities” of Hungary’s foreign policy.
Ader extended an invitation to Netanyahu to visit Budapest.