The Visit of the Brazilian President to Israel is an Embarrassment

Ma’ariv, Israel, April 1

The state visit of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to Israel is an embarrassment to us all. Even more embarrassing was the formal reception ceremony held for Bolsonaro at the airport in Tel Aviv. This visit was planned a long time ago, after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu attended Bolsonaro’s swearing-in ceremony in Brazil. Very few world leaders attended the event due to Bolsonaro’s extreme bigotry. Bolsonaro compared homosexuals to pedophiles and claimed that he would rather see his son killed than be gay. Bolsonaro is also a retired military [officer] who recently decided to commemorate the 1964 Brazilian coup d’état that gave rise to a military junta that ruled Brazil for over two decades while consistently abusing the population’s basic rights. The State of Israel, under the leadership of Binyamin Netanyahu, is unable to discern good from bad or right from wrong. It seeks the affection of extremist right-wing leaders. What’s worse, it gets very little in return. While Bolsonaro spoke about moving his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, in reality, all he agreed to was the opening of a small trade office in Israel’s capital.  Brazil’s historical stance has been anti-Israeli. This warming of ties comes not out of love for Israel, but out of love for Israel’s arms trade. As its crime rates continue to grow, Brazil is interested in improving its public safety, using Israeli weapons and technological knowhow. It is therefore unsurprising that Bolsonaro’s visit focused primarily on meetings with officials from Israel’s military industry. – Sebastian Klor

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