Israel declares Brazil’s Lula persona non grata for likening Gaza war to Shoah

Israel declares Brazil’s Lula persona non grata for likening Gaza war to Shoah

Foreign Minister Israel Katz and Brazilian Ambassador Frederico Meyer at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem, Feb. 19, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz declared Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva persona non grata on Monday over his comparison of Israel’s war against Hamas to the Holocaust.

Katz, the son of Holocaust survivors, told Brazil’s Ambassador Federico Mayer during a hastily arranged tour of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem that Israel “will not forget and we will not forgive” until the president expresses contrition for his words.

“I want to tell you here that the remarks made by President Lula when he compared the just war of the State of Israel against Hamas which murdered and massacred Jews and Hitler and the Nazis are an utter disgrace, and a severe antisemitic attack on the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” Katz told the ashen-faced ambassador at the Holocaust Memorial.

“In my name, and in the name of all Israeli citizens, tell President Lula that we will not forgive him and that he is persona non grata in Israel until he retracts his statements and apologizes.”

The ambassador received a stern reprimand at the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

“What’s happening in the Gaza Strip isn’t a war, it’s a genocide,” Lula told reporters on Sunday in Ethiopia, where he is attending an African Union conference.

“What’s happening in the Gaza Strip with the Palestinian people hasn’t happened at any other moment in history. Actually, it has happened: when Hitler decided to kill the Jews,” added the far-left president.

Hamas terrorists murdered some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took about 250 others hostage during the Oct. 7 massacre that triggered the war.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has accused Lula of being a “virulent antisemite,” told visiting American Jewish leaders on Sunday that the Brazilian leader had shamefully disgraced the memory of the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust and vilified the Jewish state.

Source: JNS