Home Public Diplomacy The head of Brazilian diplomacy accuses his Israeli counterpart of “lies”
Public Diplomacy

The head of Brazilian diplomacy accuses his Israeli counterpart of “lies”

The head of Brazilian diplomacy, Mauro Vieira, accused his Israeli counterpart on Tuesday of “lies”, a new episode in the diplomatic crisis between the two countries born from statements by Brazilian President Lula comparing the war in Gaza and the Shoah.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva caused a storm by accusing Israel on Sunday of committing a “genocide” of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, drawing a comparison between the Israeli offensive and the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis.

Since then, the two countries have engaged in a standoff. Israel summoned the Brazilian ambassador and Brazil took the same action with respect to the Israeli ambassador, while recalling its own representative for consultations.

On Tuesday, the presidents of Colombia and Bolivia, two neighboring countries of Brazil, expressed their support for Lula, in turn accusing Israel of “genocide”.

“In Gaza, there is a genocide […] Lula only told the truth. Either the truth is defended or barbarism will destroy us,” Colombian President Gustavo Petro said on X.

His Bolivian counterpart Luis Arce, for his part, congratulated the Brazilian leader “for telling the truth about the genocide committed against the valiant Palestinian people”.

Lula was declared persona non grata on Monday by Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz, who saw Lula’s remarks as “a serious anti-Semitic attack against the Jewish people and the State of Israel.”

The Israeli minister’s statements “yesterday [Monday] and today [Tuesday] are unacceptable in form, and false in substance,” Mr. Vieira told journalists on Tuesday.

“For a chancellery to address the head of state of a friendly country, President Lula, in this way is unusual and revolting. That a chancellery systematically resorts to the distortion of declarations and lies is shocking and serious,” said the Brazilian minister in Rio de Janeiro, where the meeting of the heads of diplomacy of the G20 opens on Wednesday.

“Shameful page of history”
Referring to “a shameful page in the history of Israeli diplomacy”, the head of Brazilian diplomacy castigated the “anti-diplomacy” of the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu. According to him, “the Israeli people do not deserve this dishonesty, which does not live up to the history of struggle and courage of the Jewish people.”

Earlier Tuesday, Mr. Katz posted a message to Lula on the social network X: “Millions of Jews around the world are waiting for you to ask for forgiveness. How dare you compare Israel to Hitler? »

” What a shame. Your comparison is immoral, delusional. A shame for Brazil and a spit in the face of Brazilian Jews,” he said.

“What is happening in the Gaza Strip is not a war, it is a genocide,” Lula told the press on Sunday from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he was attending an African Union summit.

The 78-year-old left-wing Brazilian president condemned the October 7 Hamas attack, calling it a “terrorist” act. But he has since been very critical of Israel’s military campaign of retaliation.

The war in Gaza was sparked by an unprecedented attack launched on October 7 by Hamas commandos infiltrated in southern Israel. More than 1,160 people were killed, the majority civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data.

In retaliation, Israel vowed to wipe out the Islamist movement and launched an offensive that left 29,195 dead in Gaza, the vast majority civilians, according to the Hamas health ministry.

Brazil and Colombia support South Africa’s historic case against Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague for alleged violations of the 1948 Genocide Convention.

For its part, the United States showed its disagreement with Lula’s position. Arriving in Brazil on Tuesday evening to participate in the G20, the American Secretary of State will meet the Brazilian President on Wednesday in Brasília.

This article is originally published on ledevoir.com

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