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'Brazil will not transfer the embassy to Jerusalem', says expert

January 3, 2019 at 9:49 pm

The then-Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia, Brazil on 7 November 2018 [EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images]

Professor Arie Kacowicz, an expert on Latin America from the Department of International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, predicted on Wednesday in an interview with Arutz Sheva that, despite the encouraging statements of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazilian embassy will not move to Jerusalem.

Bolsonaro announced after his election that he intended to uphold his campaign promise and move the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem.

While Israel has welcomed the move, Arab leaders have condemned it and have pressured Bolsonaro not to go through with it.

READ: Brazil should move its embassy in return for getting drones from Israel

“In my estimation, out of familiarity with Brazil’s foreign policy, it will not happen so quickly,” Kacowicz said.

He added:

Brazil has a special relationship with all the countries, including the Arab states and Iran, and it is unlikely that President Bolsonaro will rush to transfer the embassy. Brazil was one of the first countries in Latin America to recognise a Palestinian state and have good relations with the Palestinians as well as with us.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Brazil was important and historic, continued Kacowicz. “This is the first time that an Israeli prime minister has visited Brazil. The relations between Brazil and Israel have experienced ups and downs. In the historical context, Brazil supported us. At the UN vote in 1947, Brazil’s ambassador at the time was president of the General Assembly and he led the support of the Partition Plan. Since then we have had good relations with it.”

“On the other hand,” he continued, “they are also the first in Latin America to have recognized a Palestinian state. We had diplomatic crises with them, including President Rivlin’s apology to them after our foreign minister called them a ‘political dwarf’, and we all remember the failed attempt to appoint Dani Dayan as ambassador.”

Professor Kacowicz explained the importance of the relations between Israel and Brazil, saying, “First of all, in the economic aspect Israel has a $1 billion free trade agreement. There is also cooperation on technological issues. Israel will sell them technological equipment and UAVs. In the international aspect, there are 50 million Evangelical Christians in Brazil who support the Israeli government, and this is also reflected in their support for their condemnation of Hamas in the UN. There is no doubt that the prime minister is opening new avenues here.”

US embassy might be moved to Jerusalem – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]