Brazilian president-elect:
'If you decide on your capital, we'll go with that'

Jair Bolsonaro emphasizes that his avid support for Israel before being elected was not just a campaign gimmick.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Jair Bolsonaro
Jair Bolsonaro

President-elect of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro made clear that his election campaign promise to move the Brazilian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was not just an empty one.

Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old Rio de Janeiro federal deputy and former army captain who ran on the Social Liberal Party ticket, defeated Workers’ Party candidate and former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad 55% to 45% in Sunday’s runoff election.

During his election campaign, Bolsonaro had promised to close the Palestinian Authority's “embassy” in Brasilia in addition to moving his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem if elected.

However, a source close to Bolsonaro suggested following the election victory that the embassy move was not yet a done-deal, according to a report by Kan. The source claimed that Bolsonaro wanted to fulfill his campaign promise, but would first examine the issue in-depth, to see whether it would “promote peace in the Middle East.”

Speaking with Israel Hayom in an interview published Thursday morning, Bolsonaro emphasized that his support for Israel before being elected was not just a campaign gimmick.

“Israel is a sovereign state,” he said. “If you decide on your capital, we will go according to that. When I was asked during the campaign whether I would [move the embassy if I was elected], I said yes, and the one who decides on the capital of the state of Israel is you, not other nations.”

“As for the Palestinian embassy,” he added, “it is built too close to the president’s palace...No embassy can be so close to the president’s palace, therefore we intend to move it from its place and there is no other way, in my opinion.”

“Besides, Palestine first needs to be a state before it has the right to an embassy.”

As for Brazil's stance on matters related to Israel in the UN during his time as president, Bolsonaro said, "You can build on the fact that you have our vote in the UN. I know that many times the vote is almost symbolic, but it helps define the position which the country wants to back. Rest assured, you can rely on our vote at the UN on almost all the matters related to the state of Israel."