During a visit to Israel, Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo and MP Eduardo Bolsonaro (PSL-SP) severely criticized the idea that Brazil “is an open gas chamber”, which is part of the “Open Letter to Humanity”, published this Saturday (6th) by religious and intellectuals.
For them, one cannot compare what is happening in Brazil during the Covid-19 pandemic with the Nazi methodology that killed millions of Jews and other minorities during the Holocaust.
“It’s something that totally extrapolates any comparison that can be made. This is something that, in my opinion, violates the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, ”said Ernesto after a visit to the Israeli chancellery in Jerusalem.
“This is a totally absurd statement and I think it is offensive to the Jewish community around the world and also to non-Jews who, like us, see the specificity of the horrible thing that is the Holocaust. Any comparison that trivializes, even more a comparison as absurd as this, is something that does not help anyone and that undermines the idea that there can never be anything like the Holocaust, ”continued the Brazilian Chancellor.
Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro called the phrase a “not-so-innocent misfortune”, accusing Father Júlio Lancelloti, one of the signatories of the letter, of attacking his father, President Jair Bolsonaro. He also hinted that comparing the situation in Brazil with that of a gas chamber was intentional at the time a Brazilian delegation is in Israel.
“It was unfortunate for the CNBB that you couldn’t say it was so innocent. This is not the first time that Father Júlio Lancellotti has launched targeted attacks against President Jair Bolsonaro, but it has become very vile, precisely because there is a Brazilian delegation here in Israel, which seeks to bring drugs in Brazil to fight Covid, ”he mentioned.
“This kind of statement is really unstoppable and is causing a stir here. Comparing what the Holocaust was with more than 6 million lives lost under the Nazi regime has nothing to do with the current pandemic.
According to the president’s son, “Brazil has tried hard, has great immunization numbers and has come here. [para Israel] look for another remedy to fight against the pandemic ”.
Brazil has broken consecutive records for deaths from the coronavirus. There have been 1,498 new deaths recorded in the past 24 hours. With that, on Saturday (6), the country added more than 10,000 deaths from the disease in seven days. It was the first time since the start of the pandemic that this had happened.
Over the past week, the country has wrapped up seven consecutive days with new records of moving average deaths, the last reached this Saturday (6), at 1,455. The previous record was 1,423.
The reference to the gas chamber was also discussed during the meeting with Israeli Chancellor Gabi Ashkenazi. “I was very sorry to read, this happened when we met and I strongly condemn this language used, this example. It’s scandalous. We strongly oppose it. Using this language is unacceptable, ”said the Minister.
All Brazilian entourage wore masks during the meeting – which is mandatory in any public building in Israel, including in closed-door meetings and for photographs. The Israeli ministry even prepared special masks with the flags of Brazil and Israel to hand out to guests.
At one point, the notice from the Israeli Chancellery must have asked Ernesto Araújo to put on the mask for a photo with the Israeli minister. He replied “Oh, yes”, before putting it on. Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro also wore a mask, although he often fitted it over his nose.
After the meeting, the Foreign Ministry issued a note calling the conversation “very friendly and productive” and saying that “ideas on pressing issues on the international agenda” had been discussed and countries “were being discussed. agreed to continue coordination between Brazil and Israel “. .
Outraged< l'examen des voies de relèvement dans le contexte de la pandémie de Covid-19, du point de vue de la santé publique, du progrès technologique et de la résilience socio-économique >>, according to the text, the meeting also addressed recent developments at the International Criminal Court. (ICC) and the Human Rights Council (CDH).
On Wednesday (3), the ICC announced the opening of an official investigation into possible crimes committed by both Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel criticizes the process, in an objection supported by Brazil.
In February, the Brazilian government rallied behind Israel and sent a letter to the ICC indicating that the country wished to participate as an “amicus curiae” (friend of the court) in the preliminary investigation into the case.
After the meeting between the chancellors – the first engagement of the Brazilian delegation that arrived in Israel this Sunday (7) for a three-day visit – Folha asked Ernesto if Brazil had anything to learn from the way Israel faced the coronavirus crisis. The country declared three closures last year, maintains the mandatory use of masks in all public and private places and is the most advanced in the world in the vaccination campaign.
“The situation in the countries is quite different in terms of size, in terms of logistics,” replied the Minister. “In Brazil, there is this circumstance that, by decision of the Federal Supreme Court, each state essentially adopts its own measures. There is no possibility of federal orientation ”.
The Chancellor also said that, like Israel, “Brazil is also in a vaccination effort, is making progress.” “Israel is one of the leading countries in the world, but Brazil is not behind other big countries, like the Europeans, which are more or less in the same range in terms of proportion of the vaccinated population. “
Brazil has vaccinated, on average, 38.4 people per 1,000 inhabitants, according to data from the press consortium formed by Folha, UOL, O Estado de S. Paulo, Extra, O Globo and G1. Israel is the world leader, with 998.8 vaccinated per 1,000 people. In Brazil, there are 49.8.
There are several European countries with more than 100 vaccinated per 1,000 inhabitants, according to data compiled by Our World in Data.
The Brazilian Chancellor said the visit to Israel was aimed specifically at continuing this effort against Covid-19 and seeking solutions in the Middle Eastern country for the pandemic. One of the main goals of the mission is the Brazilian government’s interest in the Israeli nasal spray that would treat critically ill patients with the disease. The drug was developed by Ichilov Hospital (Tel Aviv), but has not yet passed all stages of testing.
“Israel is one of the most advanced technological, pharmaceutical and medical centers in the world. The fact that they are developing drugs here is very promising, we want to be together, ”said Ernesto.
“Brazil also has an effort in this area [de tratamento]. This does not mean that we do not want to work with the vaccine, we continue to work, there is a timetable, as the Minister of Health of Brazil said. Thus, our cooperation with Covid should focus, with Israel, on this issue of drugs. This is what can make the difference. “
During the meeting between the two foreign ministers, which lasted just over an hour, Brazil and Israel signed cooperation agreements in technological fields. The Israeli chancellor has praised the Bolsonaro government’s position on behalf of Israel in international forums, but he has not failed to express his concern for Brazil in this time of pandemic.
“We have been following the situation in Brazil for a few days and on behalf of the people of Israel, I would like to express my solidarity with the Brazilian people. I am sure you will triumph. I can promise you that Israel will do everything in its power to support your efforts to win Covid. We are ready to help you in any way we can. We will explore opportunities for joint investment in research to develop drugs or other possible solutions to the virus. “