Trip to the Jewish state for the right-wing leader seen as boost to Netanyahu’s election campaign; Jerusalem waiting to hear if he plans to move embassy
31 March 2019
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro landed in Israel Sunday morning for the start of a two-day trip seen as a boost to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of the April 9 elections.
Bolsonaro, a right-wing firebrand who had made headlines for playing down the brutality of the country’s past military dictatorship, opened his comments in Portuguese at the reception ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport on Sunday with the Hebrew phrase “Ani ohev et Israel,” or “I love Israel.”
He was expected to announce during the visit whether he will move the Brazilian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
In his own comments, Netanyahu praised the Brazilian leader for his “faith in our shared heritage” and his commitment to improving Israeli-Brazilian ties.
“When you entered your post in January, we opened a new era in Israel-Brazil relations,” he said. “On your first visit outside the American continents, you’re in Israel to bring our relations to a new high.”