Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da SilvaReuters

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva alleged on Saturday that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinian Arabs, doubling down on his rhetoric after comparing Israel’s military offensive in Gaza to the Nazi Holocaust, The Associated Press reported.

“What the Israeli government is doing is not war, it is genocide,” da Silva wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Children and women are being murdered.”

Da Silva caused an uproar last week after he compared Israel’s actions in Gaza to those of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler against Jews during World War II.

"What is happening in the Gaza Strip is not war. This is genocide. It is not a war of soldiers against soldiers. It is a war between a trained military against women and children. What is happening in the Gaza Strip against the Palestinian people has not happened at almost any other time in history. In fact, it only happened once; when Hitler decided to kill the Jews," the Brazilian President charged.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz called the Brazilian Ambassador, Federico Mayer, for a reprimand in the wake of da Silva’s comments. The reprimand took place at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem.

"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," Katz told the ambassador.

Later, da Silva announced that the Brazilian ambassador to Israel would be recalled and that Brazil has decided to summon Israel's ambassador to the country for a reprimand.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who met da Silva this past week, made it clear to Brazil's leader the US did not agree with his remarks about Israel's war in Gaza.

"I would say that it was a frank exchange, with the secretary making clear that we don't agree with those comments," said a senior State Department official, who briefed reporters after the meeting in Brasilia.