The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob. (Psalm 87:2)
Following Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro’s announcement that he plans to transfer the Brazilian Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a senior diplomatic official said that additional countries are expected to announce they also intend to relocate their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. According to the official, the Czech Republic may be the first country to make the move.
The official said the subject came up in talks that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held during his official visit to Varna, Bulgaria over the weekend, as part of Israel’s efforts to bolster ties with existing alliances inside the European Union.
Netanyahu has called Bolsonaro’s announcement “a historic, correct and moving step.”
The same official revealed Israel was examining the possibility of initiating additional intra-European associations in an effort to decrease the transfer of funds to left-wing organizations. It was the official’s assessment that Israel could find common ground with many countries inside Europe in its campaign against the policy of support for these anti-Israel nongovernmental organizations.
Netanyahu asked Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, who will soon take on the role of rotating E.U. president to use her senior role to influence the E.U.’s treatment of Israel.
At the Craiova Forum in Varna, Netanyahu revealed that Israel had recently prevented dozens of terrorist attacks on European soil, including in Denmark.
The official reiterated that Netanyahu had recently met with Oman’s Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi, who was in Ramallah for a meeting last week with P.A. officials.
Officials in Jerusalem said they were impressed by the foreign minister’s conciliatory remarks, which were criticized throughout the Arab world.
The official refused to comment on a report that appeared in the London-based pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, Friday, according to which Netanyahu was expected to visit yet another Persian Gulf state in the near future.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry in Ramallah has refused to comment officially on Bolsonaro’s remarks, but a senior Palestinian diplomatic official revealed that Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas raised the issue in a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Cairo over the weekend.
Abbas shared with El-Sisi the Palestinians’ concerns about Bolsonaro’s intentions and asked Cairo to use its influence to pressure the Brazilians not to change their foreign policy. The official emphasized that the Palestinian Foreign Ministry had begun to prepare for the possibility Bolsonaro would order the embassy’s transfer and downgrade the status of the Palestinian Embassy in Brasília.
“It is still too early to take any steps because right now these are just statements,” said Palestinian Ambassador to Brazilia Ibrahim Mohamed Khalil Alzeben. “I believe the political system in Brazil will make sure to follow and ensure that the president-elect does act in accordance with international law.”