On 19 June, Brazil voted against a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution which demanded accountability for severe violations of international law in the occupied Palestinian territories. The resolution also called for the criminal prosecution of those found responsible for crimes and recognized the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the territories.
The resolution was approved by the Council with 22 votes in favour and only eight against, including Brazil. 17 countries abstained. The resolution had the support of all South American countries.
Commenting on the resolution, Palestine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Maliki accused those countries that did not support it of practicing “political hypocrisy, standing in the face of justice and on the wrong side of history.”
Since the start of Bolsonaro’s presidency in October 2018, Brazil has drastically altered its foreign policy and strengthened its ties with Israel. After 15 years of regular voting for Palestine, Brazil has begun to vote in favor of Israel and against Palestine in the UN. In November 2018, Bolsonaro assured Israel Hayom newspaper, “You can depend on our vote in the UN on almost all the issues having to do with Israel.”
In December 2018, Brazil voted in favour of a draft UN Resolution sponsored by the US condemning the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, as a terrorist organisation. That was the first time that Brazil had voted against Palestine and began its transformation towards supporting Israel at the UN.
Subsequently, in March 2019, Brazil voted against a UNHRC resolution which “condemned Israel’s apparent intentional use of unlawful lethal and other excessive force against civilian protesters in Gaza, and called for perpetrators of violations in the enclave to face justice.” The foreign minister told the Brazilian Senate, “I realised that during the last 15 years, up to 80 per cent of the Human Rights Council’s resolutions were against Israel.”