Brazil’s vice-president says Lula stands for peace in Palestine

Alckmin commented on Israel’s reaction to the president’s statements

Published on 19/02/2024 - 14:35 By Daniel Mello - São Paulo

Brazilian vice-President Geraldo Alckmin said Monday (Feb. 19) that President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s stance is for peace in Palestine. “What he defends is peace. What he wants is peace, a ceasefire in the search for peace,” he emphasized after attending a meeting at the Federation of Industries of São Paulo State (Fiesp).

He commented on President Lula’s statements, which compared the Israeli attacks on the people of Gaza to the holocaust of the Jews in the Second World War.

The vice-president added that the president on several occasions condemned the Hamas attacks against Israel’s civilian population in October last year.

“With regard to President Lula’s statement, I think his position is clear. On the one hand, he made it clear that Hamas’s action was a terrorist action, and I’ve heard this from him in several statements.”

Trip to Africa

At a press conference during his official trip to Ethiopia, President Lula classified the civilian casualties in Gaza as genocide, criticized developed countries for reducing humanitarian aid to the region and said that “what is happening in the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian people has never occurred in history. I mean, it did exist, when Hitler decided to kill the Jews.”

“It’s not a war between soldiers and soldiers. It’s a war between a highly prepared army and women and children,” the president went on to say.

Reaction

Israel responded harshly to President Lula’s statements. On Sunday (18), Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Brazilian president’s speech was tantamount to “crossing a red line.”

“The words of the president of Brazil are shameful and alarming. This is a trivialization of the Holocaust and an attempt to harm the Jewish people and Israel’s right to defend itself.”

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz on social media declared Lula “persona non grata” in his country.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Denise Griesinger

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