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Jul 20, 2017

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's mic picks up "crazy" EU comment

Netanyahu's comments were overheard during a meeting between Israel's PM and leaders of the V4 (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia) at a summit held in Budapest on Wednesday

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's microphone picked up his concerns over the European Union's "crazy" insistence on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a precondition for closer ties between Israel and the EU.

The comments were overheard during a meeting PM Netanyahu had with leaders of the V4 (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia) at a summit held in Budapest on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán shared Prime Minister Netanyahu's view on the EU's relations with Israel. Hungary's prime minister called for  "significantly better ties" and less criticism of Israel.

"The EU should value the efforts made by the state of Israel for stability in the region,"  PM Orbán said. "This is of interest not only for Israel but for Europe, too, as it protects us from more and more migrant invasions."

"The EU's relations with Israel are not rational enough and need to be repaired," PM Orbán added. "Instead of criticizing Israel, we should open the door to cooperation with Israel."

PM Orbán also announced that the V4, or Visegrad Group, have accepted an invitation from PM Netanyahu to hold an upcoming meeting in Israel.

According to the Associated Press, PM Netanyahu was discussing Iran, Syria, the Islamic State terrorist group, and EU-Israel relations when some of his comments were accidentally broadcast to the media waiting in a nearby room.

During the Visegrad Group summit, the Israeli prime minister was overheard berating the EU's approach to Israel. "It's crazy. I think it's actually crazy" that the 28-nation bloc maintains that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must come before closer trade ties, he said.

"There is no logic here. Europe is undermining its security by undermining Israel. Europe is undermining its progress by undermining the connection with Israeli innovation because of a crazy attempt to create conditions (for peace with the Palestinians)," PM Netanyahu added.

European ties with Israel would determine whether the 28-member union would "live and thrive or shrivel and disappear," he said.

EU-Israel relations have been tense for years. Israel feels that the EU is tough on their stance and too relaxed with Palestine.

"The European Union is the only association of countries in the world that conditions the relations with Israel — that produces technology in every area — on political conditions. The only ones. Nobody does it," PM Netanyahu said. He also cited how China, Russia and India are willing to do business with Israel.