The federal deputy and presidential candidate of the Social Liberal Party (PSL), Jair Bolsonaro, generated controversy this week in saying that if elected, he intends to have the Embassy of Palestine withdrawn from Brazil, since he does not consider Palestine a country.
Bolsonaro’s statement contradicts the fact that Brazil recognized Palestine as an independent state in 2010.
According to the politician, who has repeatedly defended the rapprochement of Brazil with Israel, the installation of the Palestinian diplomatic building in the federal capital in 2016 was the result of negotiations by ex-President Rousseff with “terrorists” in a kind of “pull.”
“Dilma negotiated with Palestine and not with the people there. You do not negotiate with a terrorist, so that embassy on the side of the Palace, there is no area for that,” said the deputy, as quoted by Estadão.
Outraged at the statements made by the deputy in relation to his country of origin, the president of the Arab-Brazilian Cultural Center, businessman Ahmed Ramadan, said in an interview that the position of the PSL candidate in relation to Palestine clearly reflects the Israeli influence of his candidacy, a clear exchange of interests.
For him, Bolsonaro, when getting involved in controversies like this, demonstrates that he does not understand the depth of Brazilian ties not only with the Palestinians, but also with all the Arab and Muslim community in general.
“Brazil is very much loved by the Arab people. It has commercial, sports and cultural relations with Brazil. In fact, the Arab community here in Brazil is very strong. More or less, between 20% and 30% of Brazilians are descendants of Arabs. There is no Brazilian who does not have good relations with Arabs, friends or descendants,” Ahmed said, accusing the candidate of wanting to close Brazil’s doors to Arab countries in exchange for Israel’s support, which he said would hurt even the Brazilian economy.
Also according to the businessman, Bolsonaro has demonstrated with his attitudes that he is not prepared to become president of the Republic.
“He really has this culture, he needs to study, he needs to have some well-informed advisers, to know the causes, the relations – he’s very weak as a president on that side.”
As for the US President’s decision to transfer the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, provoking uprisings by the Arab and Muslim population worldwide, Ahmed Ramadan believes that Donald Trump has greatly disrupted the US relationship with other countries after this maneuver. In his opinion, Jair Bolsonaro could follow the same path, especially if he adopts a similar measure.
Bolsonaro appeals to the strong and growing Evangelical Christian community in Brazil. Evangelicals now account for around 25% of the population but are projected to be over 50% within the next twenty years. These growing Evangelical communities harbor extreme pro-Zionist politics based on their specific doctrinal interpretation of certain Christian texts. American-style Evangelical and dispensationalist groups are notorious the world over for their ties to the US Deep State and their lobbying influence on foreign policy.