update deskIsrael at War

Brazil reportedly recalls its ambassador to Israel

The possible move marks the latest low point in deteriorating relations between the countries.

President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Photo by Isaac Fontana/Shutterstock.
President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Photo by Isaac Fontana/Shutterstock.

Brazil reportedly recalled its ambassador to Israel, Federico Meyer, on Wednesday. He will purportedly be transferred to another position in Geneva. No plans for a replacement have been announced.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said that it had received no official message on the matter. It summoned Brazil’s deputy ambassador for a meeting on Thursday to discuss the situation.

Meyer has been out of Israel since February, when he was called home for consultations.

Relations between the two countries started to deteriorate that month, when Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva told reporters during a trip to Ethiopia that Israel was committing genocide in Gaza and likened the Jewish state to Hitler and the Nazis.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz declared Lula persona non grata the next day, Feb. 19, during a hastily pulled-together tour of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem with Meyer.

Katz said that until Lula apologizes, Israel “will not forget and we will not forgive.” Brazil recalled its ambassador for consultations following the meeting with Katz.

Lula doubled down, claiming in April that more than 12 million children had died in Gaza as a result of the then-nearly-six-month-old war.

At the time, Hamas claimed that about 25,000 people had been killed in Gaza, including terrorists. The total population of the Gaza Strip is 2.3 million.

Other South American countries that have severed ties with Israel over the Gaza war are Colombia, Bolivia, Chile and Honduras.

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