On her way home from Sydney, Australia, where among other engagements she held bilateral talks with Governor-General David Hurley, President Katalin Novák of Hungary made a stop in Jerusalem, Israel. There, she met with her Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog, on what she described as a ‘solidarity visit’ in her X (Twitter) post.
In a video posted to her Facebook page, she elaborated on the purpose of her visit, saying:
‘I am in Israel, the Holy Land. I came to Jerusalem, on my way home from Australia, to tell them in person: Hungary deeply empathizes with the recently attacked Israel. It’s been 30 days since a terror organization charged into Israel in a vile manner, brutally slaughtering innocent children, men and women, mothers and fathers, young and old, and dragged them away as hostages…
We, Hungarians, can never be indifferent towards whatever is happening in Israel.
I came to Israel on a solidarity visit. I personally ensured President Isaac Herzog of Hungary’s support. We stand by Israel!’
She went on to state that her visit also meant to show support for the Hungarian community living in Israel, pointing out that multiple people of Hungarian ancestry have also been taken hostage by Hamas. ‘I am a mother. It is devastating to hear these horrific stories,’ she added.
In her video, President Novák also revealed that she posed two requests to President Herzog. One, she asked that the counterattacks by the Israeli military avoid civilian targets. And two, she also asked Israel to make humanitarian aid efforts possible in Gaza. In response, President Herzog assured her that they will be careful to spare as many civilian lives as they can.
‘When the state of Israel is defending itself, it is also defending a piece of the Judeo-Christian culture,’ President Katalin Novák went on to state.
In a Twitter post of his own, President Herzog, who has been serving in the office since July 2021, across the tenures of three different Prime Ministers, thanked President Novák of Hungary for her visit and show of solidarity. ‘We appreciate Hungary’s friendship and standing with Israel, and your clear call for the immediate release of the abductees—a major humanitarian demand,’ he wrote in his tweet.
Hungary has shown its unequivocal moral support to Israel in the wake of the Hamas attacks from the start.
Only hours after the Hamas attacks, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán wrote: ‘We strongly condemn the brutal attack against Israel, and unequivocally support Israel’s right to self-defence. I would like to express my sympathy and condolences to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Israel in these dark hours.’
In the United Nations General Assembly,
Hungary was among the 14 nations voting against an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Palestine,
along with countries such as the United States, Austria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Paraguay, and Israel itself. Meanwhile, the Israeli Football National team will be playing their remaining home Euro qualifiers in Felcsút, Hungary.