PM Netanyahu: Brazil’s embassy move to Jerusalem ‘It’s a question of when, not if’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, and Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro attended a Jewish community event at the Kehillat Yaakov synagogue in Rio de Janeiro.
“This is a moving occasion because it is truly a historic occasion. I told President Bolsonaro that it is inconceivable that we needed to wait over 70 years for a Prime minister of Israel to visit Brazil”, Netanyahu said.
President Bolsonaro said that this is not just a friendship or an alliance of interests but also an alliance of brothers. There is much in this because we are facing a new world in which people can achieve amazing things. With cooperation and brotherhood, it is possible to achieve things that cannot be imagined. We agreed between us on the way to take this cooperation to new heights”, netanyahu said.
PM Netanyahu met with Brazilian Christian friends of Israel. During the event, the post office of the Brazilian state of Amazonas launched a stamp that had been prepared by Christian friends of Israel from Manaus in honor of 70 years of Israel’s independence.
Earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu said that Bolsonaro told him that it was a matter of “when, not if” he moves his country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Such a move by Bolsonaro would be a sharp shift in Brazilian foreign policy.
The Arab League had told Bolsonaro that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would be a setback for relations with Arab countries.
“Bolsonaro told me it was “when, not if” he moves the embassy to Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said on Sunday during a meeting with leaders of Brazil’s Jewish community in Rio de Janeiro.
“We attach enormous importance to Brazil, and Brazil in the context of Latin America,” he added. “This heralds a historic change.”
Netanyahu, who met with Bolsonaro on Friday, said that the Brazilian accepted his invitation to visit Israel, a trip that is likely to take place in March.
After he met the Israeli leader, Bolsonaro said that “we need good allies, good friends, good brothers, like Benjamin Netanyahu.”
In anticipation of Netanyahu’s visit, Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro tweeted, “I’m looking forward to Netanyahu’s visit, during which we’ll discuss new directions for our nations. Israel is a high-tech superpower and that interests us.”
Slamming those in Brazil who blasted Netanyahu’s visit, Bolsonaro said,” Those who did nothing but rob the country, have no right to express criticism.”