Pro-Israel legislators at political conference .
(photo credit: Andras Kovacs)
BUDAPEST – A group of pro- Israel legislators from around the world on Monday
concluded a two-day political conference in the Hungarian capital by urging
their respective countries to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of
the State of Israel, and to move their embassies to the city.
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comes as the UN Security Council is expected to take up the Palestinians
unilateral request for recognition of an independent state with east Jerusalem
as their capital, and as Israel is finding itself increasingly isolated in the
diplomatic arena, particularly in Europe.
The faith-based event, which
was sponsored by the International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation in
coordination with Hungary’s largest evangelical church, also comes at a time of
increasingly vocal far right in Hungary, which is openly anti-Semitic and, as the
third largest faction in parliament, holds nearly one in every five
The predominantly evangelical parliamentarians at the event, who
are allied in sister-caucuses with the Knesset’s increasingly influential
Christian Allies Caucus, were unequivocal in their support for
“We have to defend Israel not only against terrorist attacks but
by way of diplomacy and actions in the international arena,” said Senator Lucio
Malan of Italy, one of nearly two dozen MP’s from parliaments on five continents
attending the event. “The lack of truth on the international market is worse
than the lack of money on the international market,” he said.
European Union is a union of values and the only one country in the Middle East
which shares those same values is Israel,” said Hannu Takkula, a member of the
European Parliament from Finland. “Too many members of the European Parliament
do now know the history of the Middle East.”
“As an American I support
Israel because it is the right thing to do; as I Christian I support Israel
because it is the right thing to do,” said Rep. Doug Lamborn, (R-Co) who
co-chairs the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, urging Israel’s allies to
speak out against those who seek to isolate Israel on the world
The highlight of the conference, which was meant to translate
grassroots evangelical support for Israel into political support, and included
events at the Parliament and the Hungarian Academy of Science, was a gala public
event in support of Israel hosted by Budapest’s Faith Church led by Pastor
Sandor Nemeth where some 12,000 Israeli-flag waving students burst forth with
passion for Israel.
“I see the positive energy in this crowd and I see
the evidence that Israel is not alone,” said Israel’s Ambassador to Hungary Ilan
Mor. “Friends of Israel have come together to say no to terrorism and yes to
peace,” he said.
“The evangelical community can be a critical factor in
Israel’s relations with the world,” said MK Yoel Hasson of
“Israel must see them as a true partner on the international
“Ït is not enough to speak about the importance of Jerusalem, but
what is needed is to translate it to political action,” said Benny Elon,
president of the International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation who spearheaded
Israel’s relations with the evangelical Christian world during his tenure as
“The unifying issue that has brought politicians from
all over the world to this conference is Jerusalem,” said Josh Reinstein,
director of the Knesset’s Christian Allies Caucus.
“It is our duty as men
and women of faith to make sure that Jerusalem is never divided
The venue of the conference also served to highlight the wide
chasm that exists within Hungarian society which has seen the emergence of an
openly anti-Semitic far-right political party.
“There is a concrete wall
between the center-right and the extreme-right,” said Hungarian Deputy Prime
Minister Zsolt Semjen of the center-right government. He added that while the
government was “not happy” with the rise of the openly anti-Semetic far-right, it
did not get more than 20 percent of the public vote.
His remarks came in
the palatial Hungarian Parliament located just down the road from where
thousands of Jews were murdered by Hungarians on the banks of the Danube River in
the last year of World War Two.
“We cannot hide our eyes that after 60
years a Hungarian fascist party and his ideology is present in the Hungarian
Parliament,” said Hungarian MP Istvan Hiller of the opposition Socialist Party.
He noted that the Holocaust did not start with putting people on trains to
Auschwitz, but when people started to listening to ideas made in public during
harsh economic conditions.
“It must be said that there is no cooperation
with fascists,” he said.
Many of the legislators attending the conference
concurred that six-and-a-half decades after the end of World War Two Israel was
on the front lines in a war of civilization.
“The gate to the battle
between civilizations is in Israel, and if we lose Israel we lose our
civilization,” said Polish MP Jan Dziedziczak.