Brazil recalls ambassador to Israel, stands by shameful IDF-Nazi comparison

The move to recall the ambassador comes after an Israeli official berated the Brazilian diplomat in public, while media recorded the incident.

By World Israel News Staff

Brazil recalled its ambassador to Israel on Monday, following a major diplomatic incident between the two countries sparked by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva comparing the ongoing offensive in the Gaza Strip to the Holocaust.

According to inside sources, as reported by Israel Hayom, Brazil stands by the president’s remarks comparing the IDF war on Gaza to the Nazis Hitler’s treatment of the Jews.

The diplomatic tensions began on Sunday when the Brazilian president, known as Lula, equated the Israeli military operation to the Nazi Holocaust of the Jewish people during World War II.

“What is happening in the Gaza Strip with the Palestinian people has no parallel in other historical moments,” Lula said, then added, “in fact, it did exist when Hitler decided to kill the Jews.”

The comments sparked widespread outrage in Israel, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling them “shameful” and saying that the Brazilian leader had “crossed a red line.”

Later on Sunday, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz publicly berated Brazilian Ambassador to Israel Frederico Meyer for the Brazilian president’s comments, in a highly unusual setting – the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, as numerous media outlets recorded the incident.

Typically, diplomats are summoned for private conversations at the Foreign Ministry, and such dressing downs are not held in front of the media.

“We will not forget nor forgive. It is a serious antisemitic attack,” Katz told Meyer, referencing Lula’s comments.

“In my name and the name of the citizens of Israel – tell President Lula that he is persona non grata in Israel until he takes it back,” he continued.

“I brought you to a place that testifies more than anything else to what the Nazis and Hitler did to the Jews, including members of my family,” he added.

“The comparison between Israel’s just war against Hamas, and the atrocities of Hitler and the Nazis, is a shame.”

After confirming that it had officially recalled Meyer on Monday, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry said it had summoned Israeli Ambassador to Brazil Daniel Zonshine for a “harsh” conversation, in what appeared to be a tit-for-tat move.

It’s unclear how long Meyer will stay in Brazil.