Netanyahu Calls to Congratulate Bolsonaro

Jair Bolsonaro, Brazilian president-elect, gestures at a polling station in Rio de Janeiro. (Reuters/Pilar Olivares)

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro to congratulate him on his victory on Monday.

“I am confident that your election will bring great friendship between our two peoples and strengthen the ties between Brazil and Israel,” Netanyahu told him in the call.

Bolsonaro has promised that if elected, he would move his country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Yerushalayim.

He also indicated that the Palestinian embassy in the capital, Brasilia, should be closed.

“Is Palestine a country? Palestine is not a country, so there should be no embassy here,” Bolsonaro said.

However, there are indications that the president-elect may not be so fully committed to the embassy move. According to a report by Kan, a Bolsonoro confidant said Bolsonaro wants to move the embassy to Yerushalayim, but added that the issue would require careful study to determine whether it would promote peace in the region.

“Will it promote peace in the Middle East?” the source asked, saying that the answer would be an important factor in Bolsonaro’s final decision.

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