Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da SilvaREUTERS

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva finds himself with among his lowest approval ratings in a year following his comparisons of the war in Gaza to the Holocaust.

In December, he was credited as enjoying 54% support from the population. A more recent study shows that his support has dropped to 51%, which is his lowest rating since April 2023.

Last month, the Brazilian President accused Israel of committing "genocide" in Gaza and compared the war to the Final Solution.

“What’s happening in the Gaza Strip isn’t a war, it’s a genocide. It’s not a war of soldiers against soldiers. It’s a war between a highly prepared army and women and children. What is happening in the Gaza Strip with the Palestinian people hasn’t happened at any other moment in history except one: When Hitler decided to kill the Jews,” he said.

Foreign minister Israel Katz summoned the Brazilian ambassador to Israel for rebuke, holding the conference in the Yad Vashem museum. Members of Minister Katz’s family are among those memorialized in the museum as victims of the Holocaust.

"I called you to the place which more than anywhere else testifies to everything the Nazis and Hitler did to the Jews, among them my family members," Katz said. "The comparison between the just war that Israel is fighting against Hamas and the horrors perpetrated by Hitler and the Nazis is an embarrassment and disgrace and a serious antisemitic attack."

Katz also said that da Silva would be a persona non grata in Israel: "We will not forgive and we will not forget: In my name and in the name of all citizens of Israel, tell President Lula that he is a persona non grata in Israel until he apologizes and retracts his statements."