Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Brazil to move Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, president-elect Bolsonaro announces

Brazil to move Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, president-elect Bolsonaro announces Brazil to move Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, president-elect Bolsonaro announces
Nellie Chapman | 03 November, 2018, 05:57

The embassy was officially transferred on May 14, with Guatemala and Paraguay following suit, though the latter announced last month it would return its embassy to Tel Aviv.

The move will make Brazil the most prominent country after the United States to declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital, after Donald Trump moved the USA embassy earlier this year. The decision has been hailed by Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu.

The broad brushes of his plans have diplomats, political analysts and former government officials warning that such moves could isolate the regional powerhouse instead of opening new markets, which Bolsonaro has said he wants to do by enacting widespread privatization of state industries.

Meanwhile, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has strongly condemned the Brazilian President-elect's announcement that he would move his country's Israel embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds.

Media captionFar-right politician Jair Bolsonaro has won Brazil's presidential election.

"I congratulate my friend Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro for his intention to move the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem, a historic, correct and exciting step!"

Trump moved the USA embassy in Israel to Jerusalem earlier this year, a controversial decision that showed the world the US believes Jerusalem is Israel's capital despite Palestine also claiming the ancient city as its capital.

The new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem was opened by Trump's daughter and White House aide, Ivanka, in May.

The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, to be the capital of their state.

Palestinians say that moving the embassy would prejudge one of the most sensitive issues in the conflict - the status of Jerusalem - and undermine the US' status as an honest mediator.

Bolsonaro's first foreign trips as president will be to Israel, the United States and Chile - countries that "share our worldview", according to the president-elect's intended chief of staff, Onyx Lorenzoni.

Bolsonaro has outraged many with his derogatory comments against women, gay people and blacks, and his support for the torture used by Brazil's brutal military regime which ruled from 1964 to 1985.