The government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has finally come off the defensive in the escalation of diplomatic tension promoted by the far-right government of Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

This Tuesday (20), Chancellor Mauro Vieira declared that the behavior of the Jewish State’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, is a “shameful page of Israel’s diplomacy”. Vieira defined the behavior of the Israeli foreign ministry as “unusual and revolting”.

“Demonstrations by the chancellor of the Netanyahu government, yesterday and today, are unacceptable in form, and false in content. For the Foreign Ministry to address a Head of State in this way, from a friendly country, President Lula, is something unusual and revolting. For the Chancellery to systematically resort to distorting statements and lying is offensive and serious. It is a shameful page in the history of Israeli diplomacy, using foul and irresponsible language,” he said.

Vieira’s reaction comes after Katz used social media to say that Lula’s statements are a “shame for Brazil” and a “spit in the face of Brazilian Jews”.

“I am sure that the attitude of the Netanyahu government and its anti-diplomacy do not reflect the feelings of its population. The Israeli people do not deserve this dishonesty, which does not match the history of struggle and courage of the Jewish people. In more than 50 years of career, I have never seen anything like this”, added Vieira.

On the same day, the chief minister of the Presidency’s Social Communication Secretariat (Secom), Paulo Pimenta (PT), stated that Katz “distributes false content” by distorting President Lula’s words.

“The Chancellor of Israel, Israel Katz, distributes false content attributing opinions to President Lula that were never said by him. At no point did the president criticize the Jewish people, nor did he deny the Holocaust. Lula condemns the massacre of Gaza’s civilian population promoted by Netanyahu’s far-right government, which has already killed more than 30,000 Palestinians, including 10,000 children,” wrote the minister.

The Lula government’s reaction comes after Tel Aviv uses a type of war marketing to react to growing pressure, both international, for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, and domestic, against Netanyahu.

Several members of the far-right coalition that supports Netanyahu in power went public to pressure Lula to recant after the Brazilian president classified Israel’s response in the Gaza Strip to attacks carried out by Hamas in the Gaza Strip as “genocide” and “slaughter”. beginning of October.

Lula also compared the war in the Gaza Strip to the Holocaust during World War II. “What is happening in the Gaza Strip and with the Palestinian people does not exist at any other historical moment. In fact, it existed: when Hitler decided to kill the Jews”, said Lula.

Since then, Tel Aviv has used its war propaganda machine to bravado against the Brazilian government. Also this Tuesday (20), the “Israel” account of the country’s chancellery shared a post with the Brazilian flag that asked “what comes to mind when you think about Brazil?” and added the following comment: “before or after Lula denied the Holocaust?”

More than 30,000 people, most of them women and children, were murdered by bombings or ground incursions by the Israeli army. In addition to the Palestinian deaths, 134 Israeli hostages remain in the Arab enclave amid friendly fire.

Netanyahu cornered in domestic politics

Despite the inflamed tone in foreign policy, in recent days, Netanyahu has been the target of more intense protests by family members of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.

Every Saturday, since October 7th, the date on which Hamas launched the “Al-Aqsa Storm” operation, the fighting families have held demonstrations at the Israeli army headquarters in Tel Aviv.

This Saturday, however, they had company than the New York Times called it “the biggest display of anger against Benjamin Netanyahu in months.” One of the main demands, the protesters demand immediate elections, which have already been denied by the current leader of the far-right coalition.

The prime minister was in the crosshairs of violent protests across the country before the Hamas attacks. Today, he remains in Power due to the support of supremacist and fascist parties.

This is the case of the Minister of National Security, one of the leaders of Jewish Power, the main Israeli far-right party. Before entering politics, Ben-Gvir was convicted of crimes of inciting racism and supporting a terrorist organization (he was a disciple of the extremist rabbi Meir Kahane who was banned from the country’s parliament).

Ben-Gvir was against a ceasefire agreement made by Hamas, which promised to release the 134 hostages. To put pressure on Netanyahu, the minister declared that if the prime minister agreed to the proposal, Jewish Power would withdraw from the coalition, which would bring down the government in a matter of hours.


Leave a Reply