Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro landed in the Ben Gurion Airport on Sunday reciting the Hebrew phrase “Ani ohev et Israel”—‘I love Israel’ in English. Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed the Brazilian leader to his first official visit to Israel.
During his four day visit to the country, Bolsonaro will also meet with President Reuven Rivlin and visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. He is also set to visit the Home Front Command, the Israeli rescue mission that helped with rescue efforts in Brazil after the collapse of the Brumadinho Dam in January that left at least 206 people dead.
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) March 31, 2019
Bolsonaro will meet with representatives of the Brazilian community in Israel and the two are expected to discuss bilateral agreements.
At the Israeli airport, Netanyahu praised the Brazilian leader for his “faith in our shared heritage” and his commitment to improving Israeli-Brazilian ties.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is warmly received by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upon his arrival in Israel for a three-day visit. https://t.co/jISBAeW0E1
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 31, 2019
Israeli Prime Minister said:
“When you entered your post in January, we opened a new era in Israel-Brazil relations. On your first visit outside the American continents, you’re in Israel to bring our relations to a new high.”
Netanyahu went on:
“Just as I saw the great admiration for Israel and me in Brazil, I am sure you will meet admiration for Brazil and you in Israel. Israelis love Brazil – most of all the warmth and happiness of its people.”
? Despite the unwelcome visit of the #Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro to #Israel, 1000s of Brazilian activists demonstrated in #Brazil in solidarity with #Palestine in the #LandDay. #GreatReturnMarch #FreePalestine #GazaSiegeCrime pic.twitter.com/nwhEXuBKSA
— Dr. Basem Naim (@basemn63) March 31, 2019
According to Haaretz, the two will visit a technology innovation exhibition that includes self-driving cars and Bolsonaro may tour an Israeli drone factory whose machines have the capability to conduct facial recognition from high above the ground.
As he stepped off the plane Sunday morning, Bolsonaro told Netanyahu:
“I’m excited to be here. We want to be like you, as is written in the Bible … The friendship between our two countries is historic. We must take advantage of the potential of our relations.”
— Ramzy Baroud (@RamzyBaroud) March 31, 2019
Netanyahu is hoping the Bolsonaro visit will boost support from his domestic far-right factions so that they eventually get him re-elected in the nation’s upcoming Knesset, or parliamentary, ballots April 9. The prime minister’s popularity has slipped more as he’s being charged with corruption.
The Israeli leader also wants to convince Bolsonaro to follow through with his months-old promise to follow U.S. suite and move the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem. The move could further shut down a two-state agreement between Israel and Palestine for the time being.
(TeleSur, PC, Social Media)