Hungary Foreign Minister Sharply Condemns EU Labeling of Israeli Products

November 18, 2015

2 min read

In a breakfast meeting of the Israel Council of Foreign Relations which took place in Jerusalem on Monday, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said that Hungary would not label products from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights. Szijjártó went so far as to call the European Union’s (EU) decision to affix labels on products manufactured there as “irrational.”

Szijjártó has been a member of the National Assembly of Hungary since 2002. He said that such labelling will not contribute to a solution of the current crisis in Israel and could cause more problems and damage to the already tense Israeli-Palestinian relationship.

Hungary has been noted for its stark candor within EU politics. Szijjártó stayed true to his country’s reputation for straight talk, saying, “We have to tell things as they are, especially in a time of crisis, otherwise we can’t come up with a solution.”

Noting that Europe itself is “facing more challenges than it has since World War II”, Szijjártó said that political correctness and hypocrisy prevent the addressing of situations as they should be, and that these two ideologies are undermining Europe.

Given its extensive experience in the matter, he said the EU must take the opposite tactic from this exclusionary labelling. It must strengthen its cooperation with Israel in fighting terrorism.

Szijjártó, who is also Hungary’s trade minister, said that a few years ago Europe looked at the situation in the Middle East and saw a potential threat of terror. Now, he said, “Instead of the threat of terror, we have terror.”

The foreign minister added, “What happened in Paris last Friday is a strong wake-up call for European politicians. We must make serious decisions to protect our people because we are currently defenseless. We must get back the ability to control our borders. We should not be speaking about how to manage migration, but how to help these people to stay at home.”

He mentioned the conflicts embattling much of Eastern Europe and the economic unease that is felt by EU, saying that the biggest current threat o the EU is the waves of mass immigration that the continent is dealing with. “This is not a refugee crisis,” he insisted. “This is mass immigration. It is the greatest challenge that the EU has had to face since its foundation.”

During the meeting Szijjártó also called for and stressed the importance of all superpowers being involved in the fight against the terror group ISIS, which he called “an everyday threat in Europe.”

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