Hungary's hard-line PM Orban visits Israel amid criticism

Hungary's Orban pledges'zero tolerance for anti Semitism in Israel visit

He also welcomed "tremendous opportunities for cooperation" between their nations and commended the Hungarian leader in funding projects supporting Jewish establishments.

Israel's opposition groups condemned Orban's visit to Israel as a "disgrace".

Hungary in December abstained when the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to reject the United States recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Netanyahu said the two leaders shared an understanding "that the threat of radical Islam is a real one".

"It is deeply appreciated, and it is important", he added.

Later in the day, Rivlin acknowledged what he described as Orban's efforts against anti-Semitism, but he also spoke of the "danger" of neo-fascism.

"I know what you are doing against anti-Semitism".

The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seen as the most right-wing in the country's history, pushed hard for the law which defines Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

The meeting will take place after a visit to Orban's Holocaust Museum Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. While western Europe has taken in millions of immigrants, majority Muslims from the Middle East, Africa and Asia, Hungary and other eastern European countries have fastidiously guarded their borders and prevented immigrants from entering by building walls and instituting tough rules for absorption.

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In an unusual move for an European Union leader, Orban will not travel to the Israeli-occupied West Bank and will not hold any talks with Palestinian leaders.

The trip by Mr. Netanyahu was the first to Budapest by an Israeli prime minister since the fall of Communism in 1989.

He extended praise to all of the Visegrad Group of countries, which includes Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, and whose nationalist stances have been a thorn in Brussels' side.

Orban evoked anti-Semitic language in denouncing Soros, saying that Hungary's enemies "do not believe in work, but speculate with money; they have no homeland, but feel that the whole world is theirs".

A government poster campaign a year ago, attacking Soros for his alleged support of mass immigration, drew heavy criticism over what some saw as its use of anti-Semitic imagery, Agence France-Presse reports.

Orban has stressed that the campaign was about Soros's political views and that Hungary has "zero tolerance" toward anti-Semitism.

The law, named after Jewish Hungarian-American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros, threatens aid workers and human rights advocates working with asylum-seekers with up to a year in prison, and was approved by parliament last month along with a set of constitutional amendments.

Orban has often expressed admiration for the Hungary's wartime fascist leader, Miklos Horthy, who collaborated with Adolf Hitler during World War II and passed various anti-Semitic laws and policies against Hungarian Jews, over half a million of whom were eventually deported to Nazi death camps.

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