'May God bless Brazil and Israel': Michelle Bolsonaro wears Israeli flag t-shirt during vote
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro's wife, Michelle, showed her support for Israel as she cast her vote in presidential elections this weekend, which saw his left-wing rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva win.
Beaming Michelle Bolsonaro posted a picture on her Instagram page where she wore a light blue t-shirt with the Israeli flag and the word "Israel" emblazoned on it as she voted at a polling station.
Michelle is an Evangelical Christian, millions of whom supported right-winger Bolsonaro during his term in office from 2019 and are widely considered to be Israel's biggest supporters in Brazil.
"May the blessings of our God be upon Brazil and Israel. God, homeland, family and freedom," said Michelle in the Instagram post.
Bolsonaro was viewed as Brazil's most "pro-Israel president" at a time when much of South America turned against the country due to its repeated violations against Palestinians.
He repeatedly flirted with the idea of moving Brazil's embassy to Jerusalem, despite the vast majority of diplomatic missions being based in Tel Aviv.
Many analysts believed that a second term for Bolosnaro could make the touted move a reality.
Despite the support of Evangelical Christians, who make up around a third of Brazil's population, Bolsonaro lost by a tiny margin to left-winger Lula da Silva in Sunday's election.
Former US President Donald Trump made a plea for Brazilians to back the right-wing president.
"To the people of Brazil, you have a great opportunity to reelect a fantastic leader, a fantastic man, one of the great presidents of any country in the world. President Bolsonaro," Trump said.
"And we count on the support of free and prosperous nations and no longer socialist dictatorships, as in the past."
Brazilians rejoiced at Lula's election win, seeing it as a vital step in protecting the rights of indigenous communities and saving the country's rainforest.
Israel supporters bemoaned the missed opportunity for closer ties between the two countries, which would have resulted had Bolsonaro won.
"Bolsonaro should have kept his promise to move Brazil’s Israeli embassy to Jerusalem. I think (based on conversations with Brazilian leaders) it would have made a difference in the outcome," said David M Friedman, US ambassador to Israel during the Trump presidency.