Brazil’s president visited the Kosel on Monday escorted by Israel’s prime minister in what may be seen as tacit recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Old City.
“We are here in this sacred place, where my soul feels deeply moved by the faith,” Jair Bolsonaro said. “This is the base of everything if we want to think about peace to our peoples.”
The ardently pro-Israel leader and right-wing populist, whose four-day visit to the Eretz Yisroel began Sunday, became the first head of state to tour the most sacred place of Judaism at the side of an Israeli prime minister. Protocol usually dictates that visits by heads of state to the Kosel, are treated as private affairs. For example, in 2017, President Donald Trump treated his visit to the site as a private one.
Less than two weeks before Israel’s elections, Netanyahu was eager to be seen in the company of a world leader who has said he is prepared to move his embassy to Yerushalayim.
“We’re visited by a great world leader. Israel is becoming a central power. Jerusalem is the center of the world. Welcome, my good friend,” Netanyahu said.
On Sunday, the Israeli prime minister greeted Bolsonaro as he stepped off his airplane, which was seen as a special deference. He also made room on his agenda to be with the Brazilian president at six events.
Bolsonaro opened his first speech by saying “Ani
“I hope that is a first step toward the opening, in time, of the Brazilian Embassy in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu declared in reference to Bolsonaro’s campaign pledge to transfer the embassy.