Hungarian Foreign Minister Dismisses Genocide Claim at ICJ, Affirms Support for Israel

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, an unwavering supporter of Israel in Europe, has raised concerns about the potential for the Gaza and Ukrainian conflicts to escalate into a third world war. In a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post during his visit to Israel, Szijjarto dismissed genocide charges against the Jewish state as “nonsense.” Known for his willingness to express controversial opinions and defy prevailing international sentiments, Szijjarto is among a small group of European politicians who firmly stand behind Israel, extending their support even at the United Nations and its International Court of Justice in The Hague.

In unequivocal terms, Szijjarto affirmed, “We stand by Israel, no question.”

Similar to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he draws a connection between the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza and the broader global fight against terrorism. Seated in Jerusalem, adorned with the flags of both Israel and his own country, he expressed his bewilderment at the international tendency to forget the origins of the war.

“Regrettably, in international political discussions on the conflict, there seems to be a collective forgetfulness about how it originated,” Szijjarto remarked.

While acknowledging that nearly four months have passed since the commencement of the Gaza war, he emphasized that this duration should not be sufficient to erase the memory of the Hamas massacre on October 7. During the terrorist infiltration into southern Israel, more than 1,200 civilians lost their lives, and another 253 were taken hostage, including individuals with dual Israeli-Hungarian citizenship.

Despite the high fatality count, the Palestinian Authority and its supporters accuse Israel of genocide, a claim contested by Israel, which asserts that over 9,000 of those killed were combatants. When discussing the Gaza war, the PA and its supporters often omit the events of October 7 and the ongoing threat posed by Hamas to Israel, including the two-decade-long history of rocket launches from the enclave.

International War for Terrorism

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has emphasized that Hungary views the IDF military campaign against Hamas in Gaza as an anti-terror operation. He stressed the significance of preventing heinous terror attacks globally, asserting that the success of this operation is in the global interest, not just Israel’s. Hungary firmly supports Israel in completing the anti-terror operation successfully to safeguard the world from future attacks.

In response to South Africa’s petition to the International Court of Justice accusing Israel of genocide, Hungary deems the charge as “nonsense.” Szijjarto reiterated Hungary’s commitment to standing with Israel against any unbalanced and unfair international actions. Hungary aims to speak up on Israel’s behalf during the main hearing at The Hague and continues to advocate for a fair understanding of the events that transpired.

Szijjarto also highlighted Hungary’s moral obligation to pressure Hamas for the unconditional and immediate release of all hostages, emphasizing international cooperation in achieving this goal. While Hungary has opened a trade office in Jerusalem, signifying close ties, there are no immediate plans to relocate the embassy, and the country advocates for a nuanced EU-Israel relationship that recognizes Israel’s right to self-defense.

EU Foreign Policy Chief was Opposed by Hungary

Hungary stands in opposition to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s initiative to impose a resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Foreign Minister Szijjarto emphasized that Europe should offer its services for peace in the region without imposing itself, acknowledging that an improved EU-Israel relationship should not be contingent on the two-state solution. Hungary’s stance diverges from mainstream EU political thinking, emphasizing the importance of not tying unrelated issues together to avoid hindering diplomatic processes.

In addition to its stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Hungary differs from the EU in its approach to the Russian-Ukrainian war. Hungary criticizes the EU’s handling of the conflict, advocating for peace talks, a ceasefire, and then a peace deal to save lives. Hungary’s distinct positions reflect a commitment to preventing conflict escalation and prioritizing lives in both the Gaza and Ukrainian contexts.

Szijjarto emphasized the need to focus on saving lives in conflicts and suggested different approaches for Gaza and Ukraine. In the Middle East, he supports a normalization track without tying it to Palestinian statehood, endorsing the 2020 Abraham Accords as a plan for long-term peace. Hungary is interested in regional projects, such as the EastMed pipeline and a regional train system, aiming to enhance connectivity and improve the standard of living. Szijjarto’s advocacy for practical solutions and cooperation reflects a commitment to peace and improved lives in the region.

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