Thursday, December 03, 2020

Brazil to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

By Anna Donati - November 05, 2018
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Jerusalem] [Statehood ]

After the United States and Guatemala, Brazil could be the third country to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, as confirmed by the new president, Jair Bolsonaro.
The "Brazilian Trump" continues to be controversial even before his inauguration.
This fervent admirer of Israel confirmed what he had announced several times during the election campaign: Bolsonaro will transfer the Brazilian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The reaction of the Palestinians was not long in coming:
"It is a provocative measure, which is illegal under international law and only destabilizes the region," said Hanane Achraoui, senior Palestinian Central Council of the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization].
At a press conference, Jair Bolsonaro said he did not think the announcement could create "a cumbersome climate" in relations between Brazil and the Middle East.
"We have the greatest respect for the people of Israel and for the Arab people. We do not want to trade with everyone and seek peaceful solutions to solve the problems,” he added.
Yet the question of the location of embassies in Israel is particularly sensitive.
Both the Jewish state and the Palestinians regard the Holy City as their capital, subsequently, moving the Tel Aviv embassies to Jerusalem before a peace deal means recognizing Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem.
Donald Trump's decision rekindled the flame of protests in the West Bank, Gaza, and also in other Arab countries.
Since the success of Bolsonaro, the discourse has changed. The new president would even consider closing the Palestinian embassy in Brazil, because "Palestine is not a country, so it should not have an embassy here," he said in August 2018.
And he stressed: "We we will not negotiate with terrorists. "
Yet, economic relations between Brazil and the Arab League countries are close.
The decision of Jair Bolsonaro could have serious economic consequences for his country, seeing as in his electoral campaign he was supported by the lobby of the agro-exporters.
Brazil, as the world's leading agricultural power, has two major customers: China and all the countries of the Arab League.
With the displacement of the embassy, ​​there will be reactions from these countries but also internal to Brazil.
A far-right populist, Bolsonaro does not hide his pro-Israeli leanings and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to play this advantage - he who regularly welcomes having succeeded in improving the diplomatic relations of his country with the rest of the world.
The Israeli prime minister thanked the future Brazilian president for the upcoming recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
"A historic, correct and exciting step," he wrote in a statement.

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