Netanyahu Celebrates Relationship with Brazil but Fails to Secure Embassy Move
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has made the warming and expanding of relations with the international community the signature piece of his administration – and successfully so as once frozen relationships with African and even Middle Eastern neighbors have undeniably thawed to varying degrees. The Holy Grail in the campaign is the goal of seeing friendly nations move their embassies to Jerusalem, thus patently acknowledging Israeli sovereignty over its capital as did U.S. President Donald Trump followed by Guatemala. Visiting another ideological partner, Brazil’s President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, only days before his inauguration, together they visited Jewish institutions and dined on the famous Copacabana Beach and discussed a plethora of areas in which the two nations have much to gain from the seemingly symbiotic worldview of their leaders. But nevertheless, Netanyahu returns home without the golden ring despite the many hints during Bolsonaro’s campaign that the embassy would move to Jerusalem. Apparently, the threat of deterioration of another important trading and political alliance – the Arab world – has necessitated a delay in providing the grandiose gesture to the Jewish state. The Reuters news agency reported seeing a recent letter from the Arab League to the president-elect warning that relations with “Arab nations are at stake” if the embassy is moved. Brazil’s is a leading provider of halal (Islamic dietary law-approved) meats. That said, diplomatic sources in Israel and the United States still expect the move to happen, perhaps presaged by an announcement by Bolsonaro when he visits Israel sometime in the first quarter of the new year.