BUDAPEST (JTA) – Thousands filled Budapest’s Great Synagogue and the street in front of it in an interfaith rally in support of Israel.
Sunday’s rally was organized by the Hungarian Jewish federation Mazsihisz and the Christian Faith Church and held in the downtown synagogue.
A counterdemonstration was held near the synagogue building by the far-right Hungarian political party Jobbik. Protesters carried signs reading “Murderers” and “Down with the colonialist Zionists.”
“Israel is not fighting against the Palestinian people and not fighting against the Muslims, but fighting against terrorism,” said Ilan Mor, the Israeli ambassador to Hungary, during the synagogue rally, attended by an estimated 4,500 people.
Jobbik, which is the third-largest party in the Hungarian Parliament, called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Hungary last week during an anti-Israel demonstration in front of the Israeli Embassy in Budapest.
Organizers announced at Sunday’s rally that Israeli children living in areas affected by the Gaza conflict will be brought to Hungary for a respite to help Israeli “children to forget the terrible sound of the sirens of the present war.”