Neo-fascism is a danger not only to the Jewish people but to the whole world, President Reuven Rivlin told Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Thursday, expressing his concern over rising antisemitism.

As a Jewish and democratic state, Israel is responsible not only for its own citizens but for all the Jews in the world, Rivlin added.

In an effusive greeting to Orban and his entourage in which he twice made the point of welcoming them to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, Rivlin said that because Israel is far away from many Jewish communities it appreciates the positive attitudes of foreign governments. In this context he was particularly appreciative of the attitude of the Hungarian government and Orban as its leader.

He congratulated Orban on his recent reelection, hailing him as a great leader of his people both in the government and the opposition.

Quoting Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Rivlin said that politics is like a wheel: sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down, but the important thing is to stay on the wheel.

Rivlin expressed concern over rising antisemitism, saying neo-fascism is a danger not only to the Jewish people but to the whole world.

Noting that before World War II Hungary had one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe, Orban said that today Hungarian Jews live under the protection of the Hungarian government which encourages them to revive their culture.

Rivlin noted the expansion of bilateral relations in the fields of security, cyber technology and innovation coupled with government to government meetings on different levels.

Commenting that last year Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the first Israeli head of government to visit Hungary in the three decades since the resumption of diplomatic ties, Orban – the first Hungarian Prime Minister to visit Israel while in office – said that next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the renewal of ties, and hinted that there will be much to celebrate. He commented that it was an appropriate for him to be here during Israel’s 70th anniversary year.

Two hundred Israeli companies operate in Hungary providing employment for 5,000 people, he noted.

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