Brazil Leader Coming to Israel to Help Netanyahu Get Reelected

Thursday, March 07, 2019 |  Yossi Aloni

What are friends for? While Israel's allies in America and elsewhere typically try to avoid anything that could be seen as "interference" in the Jewish state's electoral process, Brazil's new president, Jair Bolsonaro, doesn't seem constrained by any such reservations.

Bolsonaro will visit Israel less than a week before the upcoming national election to help Benjamin Netanyahu in the final leg of a campaign to secure his fifth term as Israel's prime minister.

The Brazilian leader is scheduled to arrive on March 31 for a four-day visit, which is reciprocation for Netanyahu's visit to Brazil earlier this year to take part in Bolsonaro's inauguration.

Netanyahu, and Israel in general, attaches great importance to Bolsonaro's visit given that he has promised, like US President Donald Trump, to transfer his nation's embassy to Jerusalem, bolstering Israel's claim to this ancient city as its capital. Israel hopes that Bolsonaro will use his upcoming visit to officially announce the move.

Accompanying Bolsonaro will be a delegation of Brazilian government officials seeking to strengthen relations with Israel in the fields related to their specific government ministries, in particular cyber security and water management.

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