Arab League threatens Brazil over embassy move to Jerusalem

The Arab League warned Bolsonaro that moving Brazil’s embassy to Jerusalem could have dire repercussions. 

By Jack Gold, World Israel News

The Arab League sent a letter to Brazil’s President-elect Jair Bolsonaro warning him that moving Brazil’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would strain relations with Arab countries, Reuters reported Monday.

Ambassadors representing the 22 Arab nations are expected to meet in Brasilia on Tuesday to discuss Bolsonaro’s plan.

Bolsonaro announced in November that he intends to move his country’s embassy to Jerusalem.

“As previously stated during our campaign, we intend to transfer the Brazilian Embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. Israel is a sovereign state and we shall duly respect that,” he stated.

Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked Bolsonaro for his announcement, calling it “a historic, correct and exciting step!”

Brazil would become the second major country after the US to do so.

The letter to Bolsonaro, sent by the League’s Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit and delivered to Brazil’s foreign ministry, said that while the decision on where to locate an embassy was up to any sovereign country, “the situation of Israel is not normal, seeing that it is a country that has been occupying Palestinian territories by force – among them East Jerusalem.”

Moving the embassy to Jerusalem would be considered a violation of international law and the United Nations Security Council resolutions, Aboul Gheit claimed.

“The Arab world has much respect for Brazil and we want not just to maintain relations but improve and diversify them. But the intention of moving the embassy to Jerusalem could harm them,” Aboul Gheit wrote in the missive, according to Reuters.

Brazil is one of the world’s top halal meat exporters and that trade could be jeopardized if Bolsonaro angers Arab nations by moving the embassy. Halal meat is butchered as prescribed by Muslim law.

However, the president-elect’s son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, said the embassy move was “not a question of if, but of when.”