(December 31, 2018 / JNS) Ahead of Tuesday’s inauguration of Jair Bolsonaro as Brazil’s 38th president, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, met on Sunday with Christian friends of Israel and the Jewish community in the South American country.
“We have no better friends in the world than the evangelical community, and the evangelical community has no better friend in the world than the State of Israel,” said Netanyahu, who also remarked that Jews and Christians share history, values and heritage.
“And when you come to Israel today, you see a country that welcomes you as brothers and sisters. You see a country that values religious freedom. You see a country that is pride of our past and carries our values to the future,” said the prime minister. “You see a country where the ideal was that every person is born in the Image of God. This is the original idea of equality, in the ancient world, thousands of years ago.”
“These are the values that produced our modern civilization. And they’re anchored in the faiths that we hold dear,” continued Netanyahu. “These are also the faiths, the values that create the future. Israel is seizing the future. We now have an opportunity in Brazil to seize it together.”
Netanyahu also invited the leaders to Jerusalem.
Additionally, the post office of the Brazilian state of Amazonas released a stamp to honor Israel’s 70 years of independence.
Moreover, the Netanyahus attended an event with the Brazilian Jewish community, where he talked about Israeli innovation over the years and his country becoming a major player in sectors, such as agriculture and technology.
“There is a special warmth that the Jewish community of Brazil feels for Israel. They are proud of Brazil, and they love Brazil. They’re proud of Israel, and they love Israel,” said Netanyahu. “And they are a wonderful bridge between our two countries. We feel that there is a tremendous empathy.”
He announced an agreement with Bolsonaro “to have here delegations for security, for defense, for agriculture, for water and for the other industries. Several delegations will be coming here in the coming months to map out the full extent of Brazil’s cooperation with Israel. This is a partnership that has been meaning to happen, meant to happen, and we’re going to make it happen very fast.”
Finally, Netanyahu reiterated Bolsonaro’s promise to relocate the Brazilian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and that the president-elect echoed what U.S. President Donald Trump previously said before actually moving in May the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem: “It’s not a question of if, just a question of when.”
Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister to visit Brazil.