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Montevideo, April 24th 2024 - 18:07 UTC



Israeli gov't outraged by Lula's likening war in Gaza to the Holocaust

Monday, February 19th 2024 - 10:59 UTC
Full article 11 comments
“The words of the president of Brazil are shameful and serious,” Netanyahu said “The words of the president of Brazil are shameful and serious,” Netanyahu said

The Government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has summoned the Brazilian Ambassador after President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva likened the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) response to the Oct. 7 attacks by the terrorist group Hamas to the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany during World War II.

The South American leader spoke of “genocide” during an appearance in Ethiopia at the African Union (AU) summit. “What is happening in the Gaza Strip is not a war, it is genocide,” Lula told reporters in Addis Ababa. He also criticized developed countries for reducing or cutting humanitarian aid to the region and insisted that these things only existed in history “when Hitler decided to kill the Jews.” Netanyahu replied that Lula had crossed a red line.

“The words of the president of Brazil are shameful and serious. It's about trivializing the Holocaust and trying to harm the Jewish people and Israel's right to defend itself,” Netanyahu wrote on X and summoned Brazil's ambassador for a stern rebuke. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz also posted on X that Lula's speech was “shameful” and confirmed that the Brazilian ambassador had been summoned for clarification, Agencia Brasil reported.

Lula's remarks caused a reaction from organizations such as the Israeli Confederation in Brazil (Conib), which issued a statement repudiating the comparison and saying that the president's statement was a “perverse distortion of reality.”

“The Nazis exterminated 6 million defenseless Jews in Europe, just because they were Jews. Israel, on the other hand, is defending itself against a terrorist group that invaded the country, killed more than a thousand people, carried out mass rapes, burned people alive, and advocates in its founding charter the elimination of the Jewish state,” the Conib text continues.

The Palestinian Arab Federation in Brazil, for its part, commented on Netanyahu's statement and suggested that “perhaps it's time to cut relations with Israel.” According to Hamas, nearly 29,000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 68,000 injured in Israeli shelling and fighting in the Gaza Strip since the start of an Israeli offensive shortly after the Palestinian Islamist terrorist group Hamas raided Israel from Gaza and killed some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took some 240 hostages, 130 of whom are still being held in Gaza.

Lula has also said during his current African tour that Israel was indiscriminately killing women and children in defiance of UN mandates. He also underlined that the conflict between Hamas and Israel was “not a war of soldiers against soldiers” but “a war between a highly trained army and women and children.” He also admitted that Hamas had committed “an act of terrorism” in its Oct. 7 attack on Israel. However, he also criticized Israel's “disproportionate response” and defended the existence of a Palestinian state. “The solution to this crisis will only be lasting if we move quickly towards the creation of a free and sovereign Palestinian state,” he stressed.

Lula also met Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh this weekend and said that Brazil would increase its contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (Unrwa). Several Western countries suspended their financial aid to the UN agency after it was determined that some of its workers sided with Hamas.

“When I see the rich world announcing that it will discontinue its contributions to humanitarian aid for the Palestinians, I imagine how great is the political conscience of these people and how great is the spirit of solidarity in their hearts,” Lula said. “We need to stop being small when we need to be big,” he said.

Regarding Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny's death in jail, Lula said he would rather wait for the results of an investigation before jumping to any conclusions. “A citizen died in prison, I don't know if he was sick or had some problem. I hope a coroner will give an explanation as to why the individual died,” he said.

Categories: Politics, Brazil, International.

Top Comments

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  • rule_britannia

    A study was conducted recently by Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD) among Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank, and the results are profoundly depressing.

    AWRAD is funded by multiple Arab governments, by the UN and by the World Bank amongst others, so their results can’t be lightly dismissed. Curiously, AWRAD has taken down the English version, though the Arabic version is still up. But you can still read the original here:

    Public Opinion Poll - Gaza War 2023 - Tables of Results

    * Rejection of peace and reconciliation:
    The great majority are against peace with Israel on any terms:
    75% support the October 7 massacre.
    85.9% reject coexistence with Israel.
    71.1% are committed to the restoration of “historical Palestine” as a final resolution.
    74.7% support the creation of a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea” as the only acceptable resolution of the conflict.

    * Support for terrorism:
    There is almost universal support for terror:
    76% believe that Hamas plays a somewhat to very positive role
    84% believe that Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) plays a somewhat to very positive role
    79.8% believe that Fatah’s terror wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, plays a somewhat to very positive role
    88.6% believe that Hamas’ armed wing, the Al-Kassam Brigades, plays a somewhat to very positive role.

    “Hamas is not Palestine - why should the ordinary people suffer when all they want is peace?
    Clearly, this is the product of bias and wishful thinking. This study shows that ongoing violent conflict is precisely what the majority of Palestinians support. And Lula is wrong casualties: about 40% of those killed in Gaza are recognizably terrorists, according to the IDF, but it's difficult to tell who is who when terrorists wear civilian clothes and use children as human shields.

    Feb 19th, 2024 - 12:47 pm +2
  • Pugol-H

    Palestinians support attacks against Israelis, Israelis support attacks against Palestinians, the cycle becomes self-sustaining.

    Neither side is yet thinking of any kind of compromise.

    Feb 19th, 2024 - 02:18 pm +2
  • Chicureo


    The despicable terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israel, was unforgettable.

    In a Jewish country that never seems to agree with their own policies, there is today a unified determined mission to completely destroy Hamas from the Gaza strip.

    I agree of Israel's right to defend itself in line with the sad humanitarian situation in Gaza.

    My long-term accountant has two of his grandsons currently serving in the IDF, and I think Israel will eventually will prevail.

    The Shilanglo is very sad about the conflict...

    ¡Saludos de Panquehue!

    Feb 20th, 2024 - 12:15 pm +2
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