Brazil will not retract Lula’s Gaza comments in diplomatic row with Israel

The Israeli government announced on Monday that the Brazilian president is not welcome in the Middle Eastern country

Brazil does not intend to retract President Luiz Inacio da Silva’s comment comparing Israel’s war on Gaza to Hitler’s treatment of Jews that sparked a diplomatic rift between the countries, sources with knowledge of internal discussions said on Monday.

Brazil’s foreign ministry has already summoned the Israeli ambassador for talks and recalled its own ambassador to Israel after Israeli officials gave him a formal reprimand following Lula’s comment.

“What is happening in the Gaza Strip with the Palestinian people has no parallel in other historical moments,” Brazil’s president said.

“In fact, it did exist when Hitler decided to kill the Jews,” said Lula during a weekend African Union summit in Addis Ababa, referring to Nazi war crimes during World War Two.

Earlier on Monday, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz announced that Lula is not welcome in the Middle Eastern country until he takes back his comments.

“We will not forget nor forgive. It is a serious anti-Semitic attack. In my name and the name of the citizens of Israel — tell President Lula that he is persona non grata in Israel until he takes it back,” Katz told Brazil’s ambassador, according to a statement from Katz’s office.

Brazil’s foreign ministry said it would summon Israel’s ambassador to Brazil, Daniel Zonshine, for a meeting in Rio de Janeiro, where Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira is to attend G20 meetings.

Lula’s orders are that there will be no retraction and any answers will be given through diplomatic channels, the sources said.

The Gaza war began when the Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas sent fighters into Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and seizing 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel’s air and ground offensive has since devastated much of Gaza, killing more than 29,000 people, also mostly civilians according to Palestinian health authorities, and forcing nearly all of its more than 2 million inhabitants from their homes.



All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald