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Israel says Brazil’s Lula is ‘persona non grata’ for Holocaust remarks

'We don't want war in S.America': Brazil's Lula on Guyana-Venezuela crisis
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Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva is not welcome in Israel until he apologises for comparing its ongoing war against Hamas to the Holocaust, the country’s foreign minister said Monday.

Lula’s remarks on Sunday sparked outcry in Israel after the Brazilian leader said the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip “isn’t a war, it’s a genocide” and compared it to “when Hitler decided to kill the Jews”.

Israel summoned Brazil’s ambassador for a meeting with Foreign Minister Israel Katz at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial centre in Jerusalem.

“He’s persona non grata in the state of Israel so long as he doesn’t retract his remarks and apologise,” Katz said of the Brazilian leader.

Nazi Germany systematically exterminated six million Jews during the Holocaust — an estimated one-third of world Jewry.

After the war, the newfound state of Israel took in hundreds of thousands of survivors.

On Sunday, the head of Yad Vashem, Dani Dayan, said that Lula’s remarks “exhibit clear anti-Semitism” and called his comparison of the war in Gaza to the Holocaust “unacceptable”.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Lula had “crossed a red line” with his comments.

Israel launched its war against Hamas on October 7, after the Palestinian militant group carried out a devastating attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of at least 1,160 people, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.

Palestinian militants also took about 250 people hostage, 130 of whom are still in Gaza, including 30 who are presumed dead, according to Israeli figures.

Israel’s retaliation against Hamas has killed over 29,000 Palestinians in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in the territory.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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