Jair Bolsonaro, far-right president-elect, announced the decision on Thursday, similar to that made by Donald Trump, who was widely criticized.
Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right Brazilian president, is following in the footsteps of Donald Trump. He confirmed, Thursday, November 1, that he was going to transfer the Brazilian Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. A very controversial measure that was implemented in May by the US President.
“As we have already announced during the campaign, we intend to transfer the Brazilian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” Bolsonaro said on Twitter. Israel is a sovereign state and we must respect that fully. ”
Shortly after this tweet published in Portuguese and English, the right-wing president-elect said at a press conference that he did not think the announcement could create a “heavy climate” in relations between Brazil and the Near East.
“We have the greatest respect for the people of Israel and for the Arab people. We do not want to create problems with anyone. We want to trade with everyone and seek peaceful solutions to solve problems. ”
Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu on Thursday described the decision as “historic”.
“I congratulate my friend, the President-elect of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, for his intention to move the Brazilian Embassy to Jerusalem, a historic, just and exciting step. ”
Particularly sensitive location
In an interview published Thursday by the Israeli newspaper Hayom, favorable to Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, Bolsonaro had already said that Israel should be free to choose its capital. “When I was asked in the campaign whether I would do it once I became president, I would say,” Yes, it’s up to you to decide which is the capital of Israel, not the other nations “,” he asserted to this daily.
The question of the location of embassies in Israel is particularly sensitive. The Jewish state considers the entire city of Jerusalem as its capital, while Palestinians aspire to make East Jerusalem the capital of their future state. For the international community, the status of the Holy City must be negotiated by both parties and embassies must not settle there until an agreement has been reached.
Donald Trump broke apart in December 2017 with decades of American diplomacy recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Shortly after this decision, Guatemala and Paraguay announced that they would follow suit in Washington. Asuncion has since backtracked by announcing the return of its embassy in Tel Aviv.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has since cut ties with the Trump administration. Brazilian media worried that a transfer from the embassy could provoke commercial retaliation from Arab countries, major importers of Brazilian beef, lamb and chicken.
“I love Israelis and Israel,” the president-elect told the Israeli press, declaring his intention to “promote proximity and fruitful cooperation.” On the day after his victory on October 28, Israel’s ambassador to Brazil, Yossi Shelley, went to congratulate Mr. Bolsonaro in Rio. Benyamin Netanyahu will also attend “very likely” at the inauguration ceremony in Brasilia in early January, told the AFP news agency a manager of his office.
In his interview with the Hayom newspaper, Bolsonaro also announces his intention to transfer or close the Palestinian embassy in Brasilia, “too close to the presidential palace”. It is located less than 3.2 kilometers from the Planalto Palace, on a land of more than 1,500 square meters, offered in 2010 by the Brazilian government. The leftist president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, then recognized Palestine as an independent state.