Israel Declares Brazilian President Lula as Persona Non Grata

What You Need to Know:

Brazil’s President, Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva has been declared a ‘persona non grata’ (person not welcome) by the State of Israel following his remarks at a recent African Union Summit in Ethiopia. 

While speaking to reporters after the summit, Lula declared “what is happening in the Gaza Strip and to the Palestinian people hasn’t been seen in any other moment in history. Actually, it did when Hitler decided to kill the Jews.”

As a result, Israel announced Lula’s status as a persona non grata on Sunday, as well as summoned the Brazilian Ambassador to Israel for a ‘reprimand’. 

Israel Katz, Israel’s foreign Minister stated that Lula is a “persona non grata in the state of Israel so long as he doesn’t retract his remarks and apologize.”

“The things that Lula said when he compared the righteous war of the State of Israel against Hamas, which murdered and massacred the Jews, and Hitler and the Nazis is shameful and unacceptable” he said. 

Additionally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Lula ‘crossed a red line’ and that his remarks ‘trivialized the holocaust’.

In retaliation, Brazil summoned Daniel Zonshine, the Israeli Ambassador to Brazil and recalled its own Ambassador to Israel, Frederico Meyer. 

Israel’s military response to the the Hamas orchestrated attack it faced on October 7th last year has been widely criticised, particularly for the large civilian casualties the occurred through its airstrike campaign. However, Israel has continuously stated that is acting in self defense and that is will do whatever necessary to rescue the 100 estimated hostages still held in Palestinian territories.

During the October 7th attack, Hamas militants took an estimated 250 hostages. 30 are believed to be deceased, while over 100 were freed during a week long truce.


Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger is a Political Science Graduate from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Currently working as an Editor for The ModernInsurgent and writing for Atlas News, her interests include conflict politics, history, yoga and meditation.


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