Despite considerable courtship efforts, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far failed to get a public assurance from Brazil’s president-elect of his intent to move that country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
It was all about expressing the bonds of “brotherhood” and mutual desires to boost technological, economic, and military cooperation between Brazil and Israel, during Netanyahu’s first day in Brazil, having flown in on Friday, ahead of Jair Bolsonaro’s inauguration next week.
Netanyahu’s high hopes to secure a public commitment over Bolsonaro’s campaign and post-election promise, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, went unanswered This despite the PM’s pledge to “speak about that in our first meeting.” Both leaders just never publicly touched on the topic, instead choosing to focus on strengthening bilateral ties.
“The brotherhood, the alliance … can carry us to great heights,” Netanyahu said at their joint press conference, inviting Bolsonaro to visit his country. “Israel is the promised land and Brazil is the land of promise.”
For his part, Bolsonaro expressed a hope that the nations will become “brothers” in “anything that can bring benefit to both countries.” Later, while visiting a synagogue, the President-elect reiterated the Brazilian desire to form “partnerships and agreements,” once again eluding the topic of Jerusalem’s recognition.
If Bolsonaro follows through on his pledge, Brazil would become the third country to have an embassy in Jerusalem, after the US and Guatemala.
Netanyahu landed in Rio de Janeiro at around 11:15 am on Friday, marking the first time an Israeli prime minister visited Brazil. The PM will stay in Rio over the weekend before attending Bolsonaro’s inauguration on Tuesday in Brasilia.
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