Palestinians welcome Lula's victory against Bolsonaro in Brazil

Palestinians welcome Lula's victory against Bolsonaro in Brazil
Brazil formally recognised the State of Palestine in 2010, during Da Silva's second term in office.
3 min read
31 October, 2022
Candidate Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva speaks after being elected president of Brazil over incumbent Bolsonaro by a thin margin on the runoff at Paulista Avenue on 30 October 2022 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. [Getty]

Palestinians welcomed the victory of Luiz Inácio Da Silva (Lula) against Brazil's incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro this weekend, with hopes that Lula's success will "boost the global support for Palestinians".

For his part, Ahmad al-Deek from the Palestinian ministry of foreign affairs told The New Arab that bilateral relations between Brazil and Palestine took a step backwards during Jair Bolsonaro's term in office, citing Bolsonaro's "unbalanced approach" to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

"Da Silva is known for his support of the Palestinian cause; his views are aligned with the United Nations resolutions," Al-Deek told TNA.

Salem Mefreh, 65, former mayor of a small town near Bethlehem, was elated to see Da Silva win the elections for supporting Palestine and as a figure who rose from humble beginnings and now leads one of the world's biggest economies.

"He was a man for the poor people, and he lifted the economy of Brazil. I wish people here can be like him," Mefreh added.

Meanwhile, Dr Mustafa Barghouti, leader of the 'Palestinian National Initiative,' told TNA that the election victory of Da Silva would boost the global support for Palestinians and pave the way for a "multi-polar world."

The heavy-weight leftist ran against far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro and narrowly won a divisive runoff on Sunday. It would be the 77-year-old third term in office.

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When former US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital in late 2017 and then moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018, Bolsonaro appeared to follow suit but he later backtracked amid trade boycott concerns.

Instead, Brazil opened a trade mission in Jerusalem in March 2019.

On Sunday, Michele Bolsonaro, wife of the incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro, arrived at a polling station wearing a T-shirt that had the printing of the Israeli flag.

'May the blessings of our God be upon Brazil and Israel,' she wrote on social media.

Recently, former US President Trump endorsed Jair Bolsonaro.

"To the people of Brazil, you have a great opportunity to reelect a fantastic leader, a fantastic man," Trump said.

Da Silva's comeback puts an end to new speculation that Bolsonaro would move Brazil's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem if he wins another term.

"This victory reflects a victory for democracy.. we congratulate the Brazilian people who voted for the security of its future and the future of humanity," the Palestinian foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Brazil formally recognised the State of Palestine in 2010, during Da Silva's second term in office.

Lula will be inaugurated on 1 January.

"Today we tell the world that Brazil is back," Lula said in his victory speech, adding that the country is "ready to reclaim its place in the fight against the climate crisis, especially the Amazon."

He vowed to "fight for zero deforestation."

Congratulations for Lula poured in from US President Joe Biden, Russian President Vladimir Putin, France's Emmanuel Macron, India's Narendra Modi, Britain's Rishi Sunak and Spain's Pedro Sanchez, as well as leaders from across Latin America.