(April 9, 2018 / EJP) BRUSSELS—The European Jewish Association, a Brussels-based advocacy group federating Jewish communities across Europe, congratulated Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban for his victory in Sunday’s general election.
In a letter to Orban, EJA chairman and founder Rabbi Menachem Margolin also sought assurances that he will “continue to defend and uphold Hungarian Jewry under his new mandate, as well as continue his vocal support, diplomatic and political support for the State of Israel.’’
Orban’s Fidesz Party won a landslide third-term victory in Sunday’s election. A record high turnout of a little more than 70 percent of Hungarians voted.
In line with the most positive opinion polls for the party before the election, Fidesz appears to have won the exact number of seats needed for a super-majority in parliament, with 67 percent of seats from just under 50 percent of the vote, according to official results.
“You have been a stalwart defender of Israel on the world stage, recently going against the prevailing E.U. winds and supporting the move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. … As long as you continue to show the right way ahead when it comes to defending and upholding Jewish rights, you will continue to enjoy our support,’’ wrote Margolin in his letter to Orban.
“During your previous term in office, your steadfast assurances and commitments to protect Hungarian Jewry and their heritage were warmly welcomed, and were an anchor to us in these turbulent political times,’’ he added. “With great power comes great responsibility, so the saying goes. We earnestly trust that your previous positive and embracing stance to your Jewish citizens will be carried over into your new term and across your government.’’
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin called Orban on Monday to congratulate him on his election victory and to invite him to visit Israel. Netanyahu, who visited Hungary last summer, also thanked the Hungarian leader for his support of Israel in international forums.
Hungary was one of 35 countries to abstain from a U.N. General Assembly vote last December to condemn President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.