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Brazilian President Lula Accused of Downplaying Holocaust by Israel

Israel accused Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of downplaying the Holocaust and insulting Jews on Sunday after he likened the Israeli war on Hamas in Gaza to the genocide committed by the Nazis during World War II.

“What is happening in the Gaza Strip with the Palestinian people is unparalleled in other historical moments. In fact, that happened when Hitler decided to kill the Jews,” Lula told reporters during the 37th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.

Israeli anger

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said it would summon the Brazilian ambassador to reprimand him over the Brazilian president’s comments, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described as “outrageous and dangerous.”

Netanyahu added in a statement, “This is a trivialization of the Holocaust and an attempt to attack the Jews and Israel’s right to defend itself. Drawing comparisons between Israel, the Nazis, and Hitler is crossing a red line.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz wrote on the X platform: “No one will undermine Israel’s right to defend itself,” adding that the ministry will summon the Brazilian ambassador on Monday.

The Federation of Brazilian Israelis said in a statement that Lula’s comments were a “distortion contrary to the truth” and “an insult to the memory of the victims of the Nazi Holocaust and their descendants” and accused Lula’s government of taking an “extreme and unbalanced” position in the conflict.

Earlier on Sunday, Lula also denounced the suspension of humanitarian aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), and urged an investigation into the errors without cutting funding to help those affected by what Lula described as “genocide.”

Lula explained: “It is not a war between soldiers and soldiers, it is a war between a highly equipped army and women and children.”

UNRWA is facing a financial crisis after Israel confirmed that 12 of its 13,000 employees in Gaza participated in the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.

2024-02-18 21:00:15
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