Israel blacklists Brazil’s president

The situation in Gaza

Published 22 February 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is no longer welcome in Israel after comparing Israel’s oppression of Palestinians in Gaza to the crimes of Nazi Germany during World War II.

– What is happening in the Gaza Strip with the Palestinian people has no parallel in other historical moments, the Brazilian president declared at an African Union summit in Addis Ababa.

– In fact, it did exist when Hitler decided to kill the Jews, Lula continued.

Comparing Israel’s bombing and expulsion of Palestinians to what Jews endured during World War II is considered highly controversial – not least because modern Israel was created as a direct result of the Holocaust.

“Serious antisemitic attack”

In Israel, Lula’s remarks did not go down well, and the country’s foreign minister soon announced that he would not be welcome in Israel until he retracted his comments and apologized.

– We will not forget nor forgive. It is a serious anti-semitic attack. In my name and the name of the citizens of Israel – tell President Lula that he is persona non grata in Israel until he takes it back, thundered Israel Katz.

However, Lula stands his ground and indicates that he will not take back anything. All further communication, he says, will be through diplomatic channels.

Fears of permanent displacement

Since the Hamas attacks of October 7, Israel has responded with extensive bombing of Gaza and a large-scale ground invasion. Some 30,000 people have been killed – mostly women and children – and almost the entire population has been displaced to Gaza’s southern border with Egypt.

Israeli politicians have also openly stated that they hope to empty Gaza of Palestinians by moving them to other countries, such as Sweden.

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, some 700,000 Palestinians (Arabs living in what is now Israel) were displaced and fled. In the same year, the newly formed Israeli government decided that the refugees would never be allowed to return to the area, and there is widespread concern that the same will happen this time.

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