Fact Check: Former Israeli President Did NOT Admit to Buying Romania, Hungary, Poland

Fact Check

  • de: Ioana Burtea
Fact Check: Former Israeli President Did NOT Admit to Buying Romania, Hungary, Poland Out Of Context

Did former Israeli president Shimon Peres reveal that Israel has bought countries like Romania, Hungary, and Poland, in addition to Manhattan? No, that's not true: in a 2007 speech, Peres talked about how Israeli businesspeople are buying properties all over the world and thriving, using an unfortunate choice of words that was subsequently taken out of context.

The claim originated from a video (archived here) published on TikTok by user @pichaku.picaku under the title "!!!Romania, wake up!!!"

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-05-19 at 15.38.54.png

Former Israeli president Shimon Peres gave a speech in 2007 in Tel Aviv about how the country's economy is thriving and Israeli entrepreneurs are buying properties and businesses all around the world, from Poland to Hungary, to Romania, and even Manhattan. Hungarian newspaper Nepszabadsag recalled that the statement was an exaggeration, but "enough to prompt the far right and neo-Nazis to stage demonstrations and for them to keep on regurgitating this charge ever since".

Romanian outlet Antena3 also noted that the former president's statement was referring to entrepreneurs, not the state itself, and that Israeli officials were forced to clarify that the president was misunderstood by the press.

After his death in 2016, the BBC wrote that Shimon Peres was a controversial figure, who played a key role in the development of the state of Israel, calling his legacy "mixed".

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Fri May 19 12:22:01 2023 UTC)

  Ioana Burtea

Ioana Burtea has worked in journalism for over 15 years. She started her career at Mediafax news agency in Bucharest and has written for DoR magazine for over seven years. Her collaborations include publications like Europe & Me, New Eastern Europe, Balkan Insight and Washington Post. Ioana published pieces on the justice system in Romania, social affairs, politics and personal essays. In 2018, she became a fellow of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. In 2021, she received the first prize in the Portrait category at the national Superscrieri journalism awards. Her first non-fiction book, Fara instructiuni de folosire (transl. No operating instructions), was launched in 2023. 

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