The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, a right-wing firebrand who had made headlines for playing down the brutality of his country’s past pro-imperialist military dictatorship, is set to arrive in Israel on Sunday morning, March 31, for a three-day trip. At 8 p.m. on the evening of the same day, a demonstration will be held near the Prime Minister’s residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem during a meeting between Bolsonaro and Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu
In Jerusalem, Bolsonaro is scheduled to meet with President Reuven Rivlin, and visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. He is also expected to visit the Israeli army’s Home Front Command.
During his visit, Israel and Brazil will sign various bilateral agreements in the fields of arms trade, aviation, science and technology, security and medicine. Two weeks ago, Reuters reported that an official in the Brazilian government said that a decision to transfer the country’s embassy to Jerusalem, which could give Netanyahu an advantage in the elections on April 9, had not yet been made.
Last November, Bolsonaro wrote on his Facebook account that after taking office, he would transfer his country’s embassy to Jerusalem. This confirmed earlier statements he made during his election campaign. However, Bolsonaro backtracked Thursday on his promise to move his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, telling reporters that the Brazilian government may open a “business office” in Jerusalem instead.
Bolsonaro, who was elected President of Brazil on promises to end crime, right the economy in a deep capitalist crisis, and “make Brazil great,” has spent his career gleefully offending women, black people, environmentalists, and gays. “I would be incapable of loving a homosexual son,” he has said. “I would prefer that my son die in an accident than show up with some guy with a mustache.” As a national legislator, he declared one political rival, Maria do Rosário, “not worth raping.” Immigrants are “scum.” The United Nations is “a bunch of communists.” He supports the torture of drug dealers, the use of firing squads, and the empowerment of a hyper-aggressive police force. “A policeman who doesn’t kill,” he has said, “isn’t a policeman.”