Brazilian president recalls ambassador to Israel

Brazil’s left-wing president recalls ambassador to Israel in protest of ongoing war against Hamas.

By World Israel News Staff

The president of Brazil recalled his country’s ambassador to Israel Wednesday, the latest expression of Brasilia’s disapproval of the IDF’s ongoing war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, head of the left-wing Worker’s Party who narrowly unseated the right-wing, pro-Israel president Jair Bolsonaro in 2022, ordered that Ambassador Frederico Meyer be reassigned with no immediate replacement named to serve as ambassador, downgrading ties with Israel.

Lula has long be a critic of the Jewish state – as well as an active supporter of the Palestine Liberation Organization – and sparked controversy earlier this year when he compared Israel’s war on Hamas to the Holocaust.

“What is happening in the Gaza Strip with the Palestinian people has no parallel in other historical moments. In fact, it did exist when Hitler decided to kill the Jews,” Lula said in February. “It’s not a war of soldiers against soldiers. It’s a war between a highly prepared army and women and children.”

Meyer has not been in Israel since February, following Lula’s comments on the Gaza war, after Brasilia ordered him to return home for consultations as relations with Israel worsened.

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The Brazilian Foreign Ministry is expected to appear in the capital for a meeting Thursday, and will be tapped to join Brazil’s mission to the United Nations, The Associated Press reported.

Lula’s anti-Israel policies have mirrored those of other left-wing Latin American governments, including those of Colombian President Gustavo Petro, who severed ties with Israel on May 1st.

However, the Brazilian president’s comments and positions have placed him at odds with the vast majority of his own constituents.

According to a CNN Brasil poll conducted following the diplomatic row in February, 83% of Brazilians objected to Lula’s anti-Israel outburst.

More than half of respondents – 57% – said they believe Israel is on the right side of the conflict in Gaza, compared to 28% who favor Hamas.