Benjamin Netanyahu’s departure from power in Israel has deprived President Jair Bolsonaro of another ally on the international stage, but the Brazilian government does not believe the country’s new prime minister, Naftali Bennett, will act to radically distance himself from Brazil .
The Brazilian leader’s advisers heard by Folha believe that Bennett should take a pragmatic stance and cultivate good relations with the Bolsonaro government to strengthen one of Israel’s main foreign policy objectives: to avoid isolation in international forums, in which the country is frequently accused of human rights violations in the conflict with the Palestinians.
Since the start of government, Bolsonaro has broken Itamaraty’s historic line of balance on the issue and has started defending Israel at the UN Human Rights Council. Former Chancellor Ernesto Araújo, in turn, argued that there was “discriminatory treatment against Israel” at the United Nations.
More recently, Bolsonaro himself has called the indiscriminate launching of rockets into Israeli territory by Palestinian militants “absolutely unjustifiable”.
Although the current chancellor, Carlos França, moderated the speech, the general lines remain pro-Israel. In practice, Brazil still advocates a two-state solution, but its communiques did not mention the pre-1967 borders and East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
Diplomats interviewed by Folha recalled that Bennett has positions as hard or harder than Netanyahu on the territorial dispute with the Arabs. A member of a far-right party, the Yamina, for example, he opposed the existence of a Palestinian state.
In an attempt to maintain ties with the new government, Itamaraty is working to organize as soon as possible a telephone conversation between Carlos França and the new Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yair Lapid – who, according to the parliamentary agreement in Israel, must take command of the government in two years.
On Monday (14), a day after the vote in the Israeli parliament that sealed Netanyahu’s resignation, Bolsonaro praised the former prime minister on his social media.
“I thank Netanyahu, my great friend, for the great work we have been able to develop together to strengthen the partnership between our countries and promote the well-being of our peoples. I am sure that luck and your immense talent will not be lacking. in this new stage, “he wrote.
“I also greet the new Israeli government and wish Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid every success, congratulating them on their success in the elections and in forming the government. Rest assured that Brazil will not miss it. occasion that Israel and the Jews. “
Despite Bennett’s expectation of a pragmatic stance, interlocutors following the issue are of the view that he tends to remain personally more distant from Bolsonaro, as the new prime minister will focus on rebuilding ties with the government. by US President Joe Biden and on preserving support for Israel in the Democratic Party – where there is strong opposition to Bolsonaro.
In addition, Lapid, a key figure in the new administration, criticizes Netanyahu’s rapprochement with populist leaders such as Bolsonaro and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.