Israeli PM Slams EU for Imposing Conditions for Closer Integration

Pauline Gross
July 19, 2017

"Europe is undermining its progress by undermining its connection with Israeli innovation", he added.

"Once again, we should reiterate our acknowledgement towards Israel for what it does for the security of Europe", Orban says in a joint appearance with Netanyahu and three other prime ministers from European Union member states in Central Europe.

The EU had critized the Israeli government for hindering the peace process in the Middle East by building settlements in the Palestinian territories. Europe is undermining its own security by undermining Israel.

"Nobody else does that", Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly said at a closed meeting in Budapest with leaders of the countries of the Visegrad group, which comprises Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

"Don't undermine the one Western country that defends European values and European interests and prevents another mass migration to Europe", Netanyahu added, describing how Israel was defending Western values in a very hard region of the world.

"With their backing, it will be harder for the European Union to pass resolutions critical of Israel", Middle East expert Peter Lintl told Austrian newspaper Kurier.

"The European Union is the only global organization that conditions relations with Israel, which gives it technology, on political considerations".

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Mr Netanyahu has pushed for closer trade ties with India and China in recent years.

During statements to the media after their meeting, Orban shared Netanyahu's view on the EU's relations with Israel, calling for a more rational approach with "significantly better ties" and less criticism of Israel. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told me, 'I have to take care of India's interests, and where will I get that?

"There is an anomaly, we are often criticised by western Europe, often more than any other place in the world. Instead of criticizing Israel, we should open the door to cooperation with Israel".

Orban's comments on Israel were in line with his similar views on countries like Turkey, Russia and China, where he also has chosen to emphasize improving ties and economic relations without delving, for example, into human rights issues.

"If Europe does not cooperate with Israel it is punishing itself which is pointless, therefore we propose in the upcoming period that Israel and European Union cooperation should return to the realm of common sense", Orban concluded. "This makes no sense".

The relations between Israel and the European Union are underlined by the bilateral Association Agreement of 1995. Hungary holds the rotating presidency of the Visegrad Group until June 2018.

Other reports by GizPress

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