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Hungarian prime minister compares Israel, Hungary, ‘successful conservative countries’

Hungary and Israel have seen increasingly good ties in recent years, especially under Netanyahu

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán speaks during a media briefing in Budapest, Hungary, Dec. 21, 2022. (Photo: REUTERS/Marton Monus)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in a Friday meeting with the CEO of Tikvah Fund Israel, said both Hungary and Israel are conservative communities with “great results.” 

“Building a conservative community is a tough job. But both Hungary and Israel have some great results already. Had the chance today to compare notes with [Tikvah Fund CEO and director general] @AmiadCohen on this noble mission,” Orbán wrote on social media.

Tikvah Fund Israel is a conservative educational organization and is the sister organization to Tikvah Fund USA, a philanthropic foundation and ideas institution based in New York and Jerusalem.

Hungary and Israel have seen increasingly good ties in recent years, especially under Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Orbán made an official visit to Israel in 2018 at Netanyahu’s invitation. In August 2021, in an interview with Fox News, Orbán lamented Netanyahu’s election loss, saying it was challenge for him. 

He also congratulated the prime minister in November, writing, “What a great victory for Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel! Hard times require strong leaders. Welcome back!” 

In 2020, Hungary was one of the only European countries not to speak out against plans to annex parts of Judea and Samaria. 

However, many in Israel are uncomfortable with Orbán for his praise of late Hungarian leader Miklós Horthy, who collaborated with the Nazis during WWII. 

Orbán also led a campaign against George Soros, calling him a “public enemy” for his support of mass immigration. Several Jewish groups criticized Orbán’s campaign, saying it led to increased anti-Semitic incidents. 

Tikvah Fund CEO Cohen referred to his meeting as a fact-finding meeting. 

“Since public discussion should be in-depth and serious, I decided to go and learn what is happening there. And I had the privilege of meeting Prime Minister Orbán for a long conversation,” he wrote

Cohen called the meeting “complex, interesting” and promised to release an article about his visit to Hungary and his meetings with heads of universities and research institutions there. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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