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

A new poll released on Wednesday finds that approval of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's performance has slipped after his remarks last month likening Israel's war in Gaza to the Nazi genocide during World War II.

The Genial/Quaest poll, which was published by Reuters, found that approval of da Silva’s way of governing dropped to 51% in February from 54% in December, at its lowest level since April 2023. Of those polled, 46% said he was doing a bad job, up from 43% in the previous survey.

Quaest's first poll this year showed that approval of Lula dipped especially among evangelical Christian voters, already a stronghold of former President Jair Bolsonaro, after his remarks about the war in Gaza.

Da Silva caused an uproar last month 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 and told him that da Silva was considered persona non grata in Israel.

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.

Despite the uproar over his comments, the Brazilian President doubled down on his rhetoric, writing on X, “What the Israeli government is doing is not war, it is genocide. Children and women are being murdered.”