Netanyahu meets Brazil’s Evangelicals: ‘No better friends in the world’

The prime minister tells the gathering that Israel has no better friends than in the Evangelical community.

By David Jablinowitz, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a gathering of Brazilian Evangelical Christians on Sunday that they are the Jewish state’s best friends. Netanyahu is midway through a six-day visit to Brazil.

“We have no better friends in the world than the Evangelical community, and the Evangelical community has no better friend in the world than the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said at the event in Rio de Janeiro. The large Brazilian Evangelical population country is credited with leading the way to President-elect Jair Bolsonaro’s rise to power earlier this year.

Israel’s relations with Brazil are expected to improve under the new president. Netanyahu told the Evangelical event: “President Bolsonaro says, ‘We are brothers.’ We are brothers, and we are going to seize the future together.

“You know that President Bolsonaro’s first name in Hebrew is Yair, which is also the name of our son. But Yair means something in Hebrew: He who brings light. And I think that we have now an opportunity together to bring a lot of light to the people of Brazil and the people of Israel. This is an alliance of brothers. So I want to invite all of you next year in Jerusalem.”

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Earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu told Brazilian Jewish leaders that Bolsonaro had informed him that he wants to move the Brazilian Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He said Bolsonaro had pledged that “it is not a question of if, just a question of when.”

Another sign of the anticipated warm relations with the new Brazilian government is the fact that the inauguration of the new president is scheduled for Tuesday but the Israeli prime minister arrived several days ahead of time so that he could first meet with Bolsonaro and a number of other top members of the new administration.