Israel declares Lula da Silva persona non grata after his antisemitic accusations

The Brazilian president said that the Israeli Army is committing "genocide" in Gaza and compared the situation to what the Nazis did to the Jews.

The Israeli government declared Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva persona non grata after the Brazilian president accused Israel of carrying out genocide in Gaza and equating the Israel Defense Forces' (IDF) actions to what Adolf Hitler did to the Jews.

"What is happening in the Gaza Strip is not a war, it is a genocide. It is a war between a highly prepared army and women and children. What is happening in the Gaza Strip with the Palestinian people has not happened at any other time in history. In reality, it has happened: when Hitler decided to kill the Jews," stated Lula da Silva during his appearance at the African Union summit, held in Ethiopia, which he attended as a guest.

Call to the Brazilian ambassador in Israel

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz confirmed Lula da Silva's declaration of persona non grata, saying that he will not be well received in Israel "until he apologizes and retracts his words":

This morning I summoned the Brazilian ambassador to Yad Vashem, the place which testifies more than anything, to what the Nazis and Hitler did to the Jews including my own family. The comparison of Brazilian President @LulaOficial between Israel’s just war against Hamas and the actions of Hitler and the Nazis who murdered six million Jews is an extremely serious antisemitic attack that desecrates the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust. We will never forgive and never forget- in my name and in the name of the citizens of Israel, I notified President Lula that he is unwelcome in Israel until he formally apologizes and retracts his statement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the Brazilian ambassador to Israel to ask for an explanation. He criticized the Brazilian president's statement:

The words of the president of Brazil are shameful and serious. It's about trivializing the Holocaust and trying to harm the Jewish people and Israel's right to defend itself. Comparing Israel to the Nazi Holocaust and Hitler is crossing a red line. Israel fights for its defense and to ensure its future until total victory and does so respecting international law. I decided with Foreign Minister Israel Katz to immediately summon the Brazilian ambassador to Israel for a severe reprimand conversation.

Lula da Silva summons his ambassador for consultations

After Benjamin Netanyahu's government summoned the Brazilian ambassador to Israel, Lula da Silva called his diplomat for consultations, according to the Brazilian media Folha de S.Paulo, requesting his return to Brazil.