Is Hungary moving its embassy to Jerusalem?

The Hungarian government hasn’t confirmed various press information regarding its decision to follow the USA’s example and move its embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 

Hungary blocked an EU statement on Wednesday (6 December) that was to have voiced “serious concern” regarding US president Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, diplomatic sources told EUObserver. The EU statement was to have been issued on behalf of all 28 member states, but due to Hungary’s opposition it was downgraded to a statement by EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini only. According to Times of Israel‘s European sources, Hungary is expected to follow Trump’s example.

Speaking to journalists at the Friday meeting of the EU-Ukraine Association Council, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto declined to comment on a US decision concerning the status of Jerusalem but said the government had not addressed the issue and there was no change in Hungary’s policy towards the Middle East.

Mazsihisz, the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary, has said that it hopes Jerusalem would become “a capital of religious peace” for each community. In a joint statement, Andras Heisler, the federation’s president, and chief rabbi Robert Frölich said that Jerusalem has always been at the heart of the world’s Jewish community. The pair said the community “had been praying for the city” for thousands of years since the destruction of its two temples and will continue to do so even after the decision announced by Donald Trump. They noted that during their visit to Budapest’s Dohany Street Synagogue in July this year, the Hungarian and Israeli prime ministers expressed hope that Hungary would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a city that is home to the three main monotheistic religions.

In a statement on Saturday, Marton Gyongyosi, lawmaker of the strongest opposition party Jobbik denounced Donald Trump’s announcement, warning that such unilateral decisions can have serious consequences. According to Gyongyosi, recogninsing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital can cause conflicts in the region and endanger Jewish communities worldwide. He criticised Hungary’s MFA for failing to publish a statement on the issue so far and blocking the EU decision.

Hungary Journal
Photo: Kormany.hu

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