JERUSALEM, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, known for his nationalist policies that have raised worries among Hungary's Jewish community, pledged "zero tolerance" for anti-Semitism on a visit to Israel Thursday.
Orban, criticized by Jewish groups around the world for what they denounced as anti-Semitism, arrived in Israel on Wednesday evening for a two-day visit.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Orban he is "a true friend of Israel" and "have stood up for Israel time and time again in international forums."
Orban said at the meeting that "all of the Jewish citizens in Hungary are under the protection of the government," adding that "we are proud that in Hungary, self-identifying Jews, who celebrate and preserve Jewish tradition, can feel safe."
Last year, Orban was criticized by Jewish organizations around the world after he hailed Hungary's wartime and Nazi ally, Miklos Horthy, as "an exceptional statesman."
He also used an image of Hungarian-born U.S. financier and Holocaust survivor George Soros in an anti-Muslim immigration billboard campaign. Many in the Jewish community said the campaign used anti-Semitic stereotypes do defame Soros.
The visit is part of Netanyahu's strategy to warm up the ties with the Visegrad Group, which includes Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, countries known for their nationalist stance that causes frequent frictions with the EU.