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Former Brazilian president appeals to the Supreme Court: Allow me to visit Israel

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gestures while standing in front of his house before testifying to the Federal Police in Brasilia, Brazil, February 22, 2024. (Photo: REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo)

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will petition the Supreme Court in Brazil and ask to come to Israel at Netanyahu’s invitation. His passport was taken last month due to criminal proceedings against him, CNN reported on Sunday.

After Brazilian President Lula da Silva compared Israel’s war in Gaza to Nazi crimes, Prime Minister Netanyahu sent an official invitation to Lula’s rival, former President Bolsonaro to visit Israel, according to Brazilian media reports.

However, since February, Bolsonaro has been forced to surrender his passport due to the criminal proceedings against him, which prevents him from leaving Brazil. His lawyers therefore intend to petition the Supreme Court in Brazil to allow the former president to visit Israel.

In a conversation with CNN, lawyer Fabio Weingarten, a member of the former president’s defense team, said: “The petition to the Supreme Court will have information, such as departure and return dates, and Bolsonaro’s schedule, including the meetings with hostages’ families, and visits to the sites of Hamas attack on October 7.”

About two weeks ago, former president Bolsonaro was filmed waving at crowds of his supporters with his wife and with the Israeli flag flying in front of him, during a support rally in Sao Paulo.

Bolsonaro’s act stood in contrast to the outrageous statements of the incumbent President Lula, who compared Israel’s actions to Nazi crimes. Lula also said that “in Gaza, there is no war but genocide against the Palestinians.”

In response, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz reprimanded the Brazilian Ambassador to Israel Federico Mayer at Yad Vashem and declared Brazilian President Lula a persona non grata in the State of Israel.

Katz said: “We will not forget or forgive. This is a serious antisemitic attack. President Lula must retract it.”

In turn, and against the backdrop of growing tensions between the two countries, Lula recalled his nation’s ambassador in Tel Aviv for a consultation, while Israel’s ambassador to Brazil was summoned to a reprimand in Brasilia.


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