Israeli ambassador: Why harm Israel-Brazil relations?

Israeli ambassador refuses to attend conference of umbrella Jewish organization over leader's criticism of President Jair Bolsonaro.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Brazilian Pres. Bolsonaro with PM Netanyahu at Western Wall
Brazilian Pres. Bolsonaro with PM Netanyahu at Western Wall
screenshot from video

Israeli Ambassador to Brazil, Yossi Shelley, decided to boycott the 50th annual conference of the Jewish Community's umbrella organization, the Brazilian Israelite Confederation (CONIB), Yediot Aharonot reported.

The reason for the boycott, according to the report, was the presence of community officials who criticized Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro. The Israeli Consul General in Sao Paulo, Elon Lavi, did not attend the event either.

The article quoted Shelley criticizing CONIB President Fernando Lutenberg. "Lutenberg has his own political agenda. He speaks badly about Bolsonaro and the Jewish community does not like it."

"There are excellent relations between Brazil and Israel today. Why destroy it now?" the ambassador asked.

Lutenberg commented on the article, saying: "The Jewish community is pluralistic and the organization wants to represent everyone. You can't help but express the community's position when President Bolsonaro says that Nazism was a movement of the Left."

The Foreign Ministry said that due to the schedule of the ambassador, he could not attend the event. "State relations are characterized by impressive momentum. Later this month we will host the Brazilian Foreign Affairs and Security Committee and continue to work to deepen relations with Brazil in all areas,"