“I am very happy to host my colleague and close friend of Israel, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto,’’ was how Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi greeted his Hungarian counterpart after he arrived July 20 for a half-day visit to Israel. Szijjarto met both Ashkenazi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Over the past few years, Netanyahu has nurtured a strong diplomatic alliance with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Netanyahu seems to embrace the nationalist and Euroskeptic approaches openly espoused by Orban. For Israel’s prime minister, the European Union is divided into two camps: those supporting his annexation policies and those who reject them. Orban belongs to the first group, together with some other EU members, mostly from central Europe.