The lecture of the Israeli Ambassador at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The lecture of the Israeli Ambassador at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade
2020-06-05 KKI1

On the 27th of May, H. E. Yacov Hadas-Handelsman, Ambassador of the State of Israel to Hungary, gave an online lecture at the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade. The event was entitled “Challenges the Middle East and Europe are facing in light of Covid-19: An Israeli Perspective” and was moderated by Tamás Péter Baranyi, Deputy Director of Strategy of IFAT.

In his lecture, Ambassador Hadas-Handelsman talked about the joint challenges of Europe and the Middle East posed by the new coronavirus. He emphasized that the crisis management of Israel can be considered successful due to rapid implementation and the stringency of related measures, the high level of development of the Israeli health care system, and to the objective approach to the containment of the epidemic – namely focusing on objectively detectable symptoms and attributes of the virus instead of complaints. The Israeli government put especially huge emphasis on protecting the Orthodox and the Arab communities which, according to the Ambassador, could have beneficial social consequences. Currently, opening up the economy and the society in a safe manner is the priority of the government. The Ambassador pointed out that Central European states managed the crisis efficiently, whereas the European Union was less effective in contributing to national measures.

Responding to the questions of the audience, Ambassador Hadas-Handelsman praised the current state of relations between the V4 countries and Israel, nevertheless he emphasized that there are existing but unutilized potentials in several areas (such as the production and distribution of medical equipment). He shared some of the concerns regarding the surveillance systems introduced during the epidemic, especially in terms of privacy rights of citizens, nevertheless he found the tool useful in combatting the virus and he considers such systems effective in case of the existence of adequate legal guarantees.

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