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Why Netanyahu clings to the European apostates



Right-wing governments such as Hungary and Poland, which, despite their membership, are openly opposed to European Union policies, have become closer to Israel, even though some of them are subject to anti-Semitism charges. And Netanyahu is driving this trend forward.

In Hungary, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban visits the country as the last leader of these countries during a three-day visit. Orban was warmly welcomed by Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders and is due to visit the Wailing Wall on Friday morning before returning home.

Now, in his fourth term, the Hungarian head of state has been accused of anti-Semitism mainly because of his attacks on the Hungarian Jewish Holocaust survivor George Soros. Orban has also created a highly anti-immigration platform. The Hungarian head of state has worked against non-governmental organizations, opposition parties and independent media and has consolidated the power of his own party with an overwhelming victory in the April elections.

Opposition Knesset member Yair Lapid denounced Orban's visit as a "disgrace" Netanyahu honors a man who "praises the anti-Semitic leader who worked with the Nazis to annihilate Hungarian Jewry." Last year, Orban honored Miklos Horthy, Hungary's leader during the Second World War, who imposed anti-Jewish laws and was an ally of Nazi Germany.

None of this seems to interest Netanyahu, who has partnered with the breakaway leaders of Europe to find a common ground in common interests. Netanyahu has brought Israel closer to the conservative, populist leaders who spread messages against immigrants in Europe and reflect Netanyahu's ties to President Donald Trump's administration.

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Hungary is perhaps the clearest example of the emerging partnerships. Netanyahu and Orban both persistently advocated immigration. Netanyahu has been working to remove thousands of African migrants from Israel, while Orban has equated immigration with a "flu epidemic." Hungary has even built a fence along its southern border with Serbia and Croatia to stop migration, similar to Israel's fence along the Egyptian border that stopped migration from Sinai.

And both leaders have demonized Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros. a Jewish philanthropist who, through his Open Society Foundations, donates to many liberal organizations and organizations. Orban's campaign against Soros contained a campaign slogan "Let's not let Soros have the last laugh!" while the Foreign Minister of the country Soros described a "national security risk".

Orban is not the only right-wing European politician hugged by Netanyahu in recent months. The Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz paid Israel its first official visit in June. His coalition includes the far-right Freedom Party, founded in the 1950s by former Nazis. Israel boycotted the party, but not the government. Netanyahu called Kurz "a true friend of Israel" during his visit and thanked him for his opposition to anti-Semitism in Austria.

  Netanyahu and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz shake hands during a joint press conference at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem.

Most recently, Netanyahu showed how far he was ready for a better match with Poland. After Poland passed a highly controversial Holocaust law accusing Poland of complicity in Nazi war crimes, Netanyahu and his Polish counterpart published a joint statement on the role of Poles in the deaths of Jews trying to solve the problem; The Israeli Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum accused it of having contained "grave errors and deceptions."

As part of the warming relationship, Netanyahu has sought diplomatic success for Israel. In addition to improving economic and trade relations, the ultimate victory would be recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the relocation of embassies there, and Israel has encouraged countries such as Hungary and the Czech Republic to do so.

The Central European countries have so far refused to relocate the larger embassy, ​​despite the fact that the Czechs – under the leadership of right-wing President Milos Zeman – have announced that they will open an Honorary Consulate in Jerusalem. [196592002] Nevertheless, Israel has demanded smaller diplomatic victories. Hungary, Poland, Croatia and the Czech Republic abstained from a United Nations General Assembly resolution in December condemning the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by US President Donald Trump. Although the resolution was overwhelmingly adopted, European abstentions represented a break in the unanimity of the European Union.

  Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Netanyahu at their meeting in the Moscow Kremlin on 11 July. [19659018] Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Netanyahu at their July 11 meeting in the Kremlin.

When Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to drive a wedge between the US and the EU, Netanyahu wants to split the EU by itself. Not politically or economically, but diplomatically. Netanyahu's stated goal is to break the bloc's consensus on Israel.

The Israeli leader has long criticized the EU's policy towards Israel, and the EU was equally critical of the continued expansion of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories

In Orban, Netanyahu has found another critic of the EU. Orban has also criticized the blockade and focused much of his criticism on his migration policies.

While the EU faces migration, ambiguity over Brexit and how to deal with Trump, leaders such as Netanyahu see the opportunity to break the EU's favored approach to foreign unity. In the weakness of the EU, the Israeli Prime Minister smells of possibilities.


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