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Business News/ News / World/  ‘When Hitler decided to kill the Jews…’ Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu reacts to Brazil president's Gaza remark
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‘When Hitler decided to kill the Jews…’ Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu reacts to Brazil president's Gaza remark

As per Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Brazil president's Gaza remark ‘crossed a red line’.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a gathering of Jewish leaders at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg) (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)Premium
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a gathering of Jewish leaders at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg) (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Israel has criticised Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for comparing the Gaza conflict with the Holocaust, calling it antisemitic and a belittlement of the historic tragedy. This worsens the ties between the two nations that are already tense especially since President Lula resumed office in 2023.

“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," President Lula told reporters at the African Union summit in Ethiopia.

Also Read: Israeli cabinet unanimously reject Palestinian statehood

This was not the first time the Brazilian president commented on the Israel-Palestine conflict. He earlier slammed Israel for carrying out genocide in Gaza and voiced support for South Africa's case against Israel at the UN's International Court of Justice. However, it was the first time he directly compared Israel's actions to the Holocaust.

As per Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the remark “crossed a red line". Netanyahu accused Lula of being a “virulent anti-Semite". Israel was created as a safe place for Jews and to protect them from the Holocaust.

Also Read: Israel-Hamas war: US says it will block another cease-fire resolution at the UN | Top six developments

Israel has called Brazil's ambassador for reprimand after Foreign Minister Israel Katz found Lula's comments to be "shameful and serious."

In January, Lula met with the Palestinian ambassador and criticised Hamas' attack that started the ongoing offensive. He, nevertheless, said killing civilians without distinction was not justified and urged for a cease-fire.

Israel-Hamas war

The war was triggered by an October 7 attack by Hamas militants, who stormed into southern Israel and killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took around 250 hostages. Militants still hold around 130 hostages, a fourth of them believed to be dead. Most of the others were released during a weeklong cease-fire in November, PTI reported.

Also Read: Gaza war: Water Transport Workers' Union of India refuses to load, unload Israel-bound weapons on any ships

The war has killed at least 28,985 Palestinians, mostly women and children, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants. Around 80 per cent of Gaza's population have been driven from their homes and a quarter face starvation.

The heavy death toll and widespread damage have led to mounting criticism of Israel and growing calls for a cease-fire.

(With PTI inputs)

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Published: 19 Feb 2024, 07:11 AM IST
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