Hungarian EU Commissioner targeted by a Palestinian newspaper for his friendship with Israel

According to The Electronic Intifada, one of the best-known English-language Palestinian newspapers, Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement from Hungary, is showing immeasurable cruelty by gratifying the Israeli lobby.

The Electronic Intifada, one of the largest English-language Palestinian newspapers, recently published an article titled „Holocaust abused as EU promotes positive vibes with Israel lobby.” David Cronin,  the article’s author, begins by saying, „Seldom does a week go by without the Holocaust being abused.” According to him, the „March of Life” in Budapest, which commemorates the Holocaust and took place for the 19th time this year, was such an „abuse.”

Cronin was most irritated by the presence of Israel’s ambassador to Budapest, claiming that the diplomat „represents a state that has killed almost 100 Palestinians so far this year and more than 10,000 since the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000,” adding that „referring to crimes committed in the 20th century is the best way to get away with crimes in the 21st century, at least in Israel this tactic works.”

Cronin blames Katharina von Schnurwein, the European Commission Coordinator on combating antisemitism, who also participated in the March for Life, for not speaking out against „Israel’s state violence” at the event.

The journalist also rebuked Olivier Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement from Hungary, saying that Várhelyi’s role should be to promote „respect for human rights and the rule of law.”

„Regardless of whether these expectations were real, Várhelyi failed to live up to them,” Cronin concludes. He backs up his claim with the fact that Oliver Várhelyi has recently held meetings with a number of pro-Israel lobby groups, also complaining that the Hungarian commissioner recently met with Ted Deutch, the new chairman of the American Jewish Committee, and representatives of the Action and Protection League. There is no indication from the reports of these meetings that „productive discussions” in any way addressed „the Israeli oppression of Palestinians”.

„Far from defending Palestinian rights, Várhelyi has displayed immense cruelty in order to please the Israel lobby,” writes Cronin, referring to Várhelyi’s temporary blocking of some $230 million in EU aid to the Palestinians last year because of the inflammatory, anti-Israel content of textbooks used in Palestinian schools.

The columnist also laments that since December 2019, Várhelyi has attended at least 12 meetings with Israeli representatives – in addition to meetings with pro-Israel lobby groups – all of which have „explored ways to strengthen EU-Israel relations.” He concludes that no matter whether Israel has a far-right or a liberal government, Várhelyi remains the Jewish state’s most trusted ally at the highest levels of the Brussels bureaucracy.