Demonstrators wave Israeli flags at huge pro-Bolsonaro rally in Brazil

A crowd estimated at 750,000 sends rebuke to president who compared Israelis actions in Gaza to the Holocaust.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Demonstrators waved Israeli flags at a massive rally held in one of Brazil’s largest cities Sunday in support of former president Jair Bolsonaro, which was seen as a rebuke to their current leader who recently compared Israelis actions in Gaza to the Holocaust.

The crowd, which filled the main boulevard of Sao Paulo, was estimated by organizers to be some 750,000 strong at its peak.

Its main purpose was to back Bolsonaro, who is fighting several criminal charges, including allegedly attempting a coup when he lost the elections at the end of 2022 after one term in office.

Israeli flags were being sold at the event alongside the ubiquitous Brazilian one that is a common feature at Bolsonaro speeches, and were waved throughout.

Signs could also be seen saying “Sorry” in English, with a red heart drawn around a picture of blue-and-white flag, and a flag combining the national and Israeli flags with an image of a lion.  The lion is an expression of admiration for how the IDF is fighting the Hamas terror organization after its October 7 invasion and massacre of 1,200 people sparked the ongoing war.

The effusively pro-Israel Bolsonaro, who addressed his supporters, held the blue-and-white flag himself as he spoke. His wife, Michele, an Evangelical Christian like her husband, ended her own speech by blessing Israel that it should know “true shalom (peace).”

Current President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has officially become persona non grata in the Jewish state after condemning Israel for committing genocide in Gaza.

At a press conference in Ethiopia early last week, he said, “What is happening in the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian people has not existed at any other historical moment. In fact, it existed. When Hitler decided to kill the Jews.”

He has refused to apologize, and recalled Brazil’s ambassador to Israel after Foreign Minister Israel Katz announced that he was not welcome in the country until an apology is issued.

Calling da Silva by his nickname, Bolsonaro had also blasted the statement, calling it a “criminal speech” that “not only offended the Jews, it offended humanity.

What happened in World War II, with the elimination of Jews in gas chambers, does not exist in the history of the world. And Lula compares the Israeli Army with the Nazis. It shocked the world.”

Bolsonarao’s supporters in parliament are backing an impeachment request filed last week against da Silva for having “committed an act of hostility against a foreign nation” due to his anti-Israel remarks.

While Israel’s ambassador to Brazil did not attend the rally, Katz took to X to express his gratitude at the show of love that had been displayed.

“We thank the Brazilian people very much for supporting Israel,” he wrote. “Even Lula can’t separate us.”