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The Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyad Al Maliki, classified Israel’s gesture of considering President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) as persona non grata as “very stupid”.

“This shows stupidity, it shows a lack of vision, it shows political immaturity and a lack of wisdom”, declared the chancellor in an interview with the portal UOL published this Tuesday (27). According to him, the attitude reveals “who” the Palestinians are dealing with: “A bunch of immature individuals, who do not respect international law.”

Maliki is one of the main names in Palestinian politics and, since 2007, he has been the Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority. Previously, he was Minister of Information and government spokesman. The chancellor is one of the main members of Fatah — a political group unrelated to Hamas and which controls the West Bank.

According to Al Maliki, “Lula should consider the declaration [de persona non grata] as a compliment when it comes from Israelis.”

The Palestinian chancellor stated that the Brazilian president demonstrated “courage” in saying what he said. “You cannot turn your back on the suffering of others. Human suffering is human suffering. He knows this and we see it in his statements,” he stated.

“It’s not just by saying ‘Nazi’ that we jump out of our seats and start being accused of being anti-Semitic,” he continued. “It is not because of a mention of Hitler that people talk about being anti-Israel,” he added.

“What happened in 1939, we were not there to prevent it. Now, we are in power and we need to do everything we can to prevent something similar from happening. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Brazilian, Israeli or Palestinian life. The important thing is to stand up for humanity”, he added.


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