Israel lost a friend this week when Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro lost the election to Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, known as “Lula”.

Lula’s election has been filled with controversy. The former president was previously imprisoned for corruption and is now reelected under the shadow of accusations of election fraud. There are currently mass demonstrations in brazil protesting against the new president.

Regardless of whether there has been election fraud or not, it is still a sad time for Brazil and for the Israel-Brazilian relationship because the new government is not a friend of Israel.

Lula has long supported the Palestinians. He was president of Brazil from 2003-2010 and it was under his leadership that Brazil recognised “Palestine” as a state. This recognition led to numerous other South American countries following suit.

When Lula visited Israel and the Palestinian territories, he adorned himself with a Palestinian keffiyeh and laid a wreath at the tomb of Palestinian leader and supporter of terrorism Yasser Arafat.

He also visited Iran and met with the Iranian dictator Ayatollah Khamenei, showing friendship to the man who oppresses his people.

Lula even hosted then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who was a vocal hater of Israel. Ahmadinejad openly called for Israel’s destruction and gave support to international terrorism.

In contrast, outgoing President Bolsonaro is an Evangelical Christian who has long touted his support for Israel. On Election Day in Brazil in 2019, Bolsonaro’s wife wore a shirt with an Israeli flag on it.

Israel’s then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even attended Bolsonaro’s inauguration. Three months later Bolsonaro visited Israel and, unlike most world leaders, brought the Israeli leader with him to the Western Wall as a show of friendship.

Unsurprisingly, the Palestinian Authority and Iran welcomed the news of Lula’s victory and congratulated him.

The terrorist group Hamas even went as far as calling his election a “victory for all oppressed people around the globe, particularly the Palestinian people for he is known for his strong and continued support for the Palestinians.”

That endorsement alone should be troubling to anyone who supports Israel. Hamas is a terrorist organisation outlawed in the UK, Europe, the USA and many other countries. They oppress the Palestinian people, use their women and children as human shields and do everything in their power to murder Jews. They are the last people on earth anyone should want an endorsement from, yet Lula received just that.

Here are CUFI UK we will also support and celebrate leaders who are friends to Israel and the Jewish people. And we will always speak out against those who support Israel’s enemies. We know that nations are blessed when they bless Israel, just as the Bible says. It is a sad time when a pro-Israel leader is replaced by one who supports the Iranian regime and is praised by Hamas, two entities that wish nothing more than the destruction of Israel.

Brazil needs our prayers.

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