Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu contacted Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday and offered to help him fight the forest fires which are currently devastating the Amazon Forest in his country.
The fire is the worst blaze since 2013. On Friday, Bolsonaro authorized the use of 44,000 troops to battle the fire.
O Globo newspaper reported in Portuguese that Israel will send a firefighting aircraft and flame-retardant materials to Brazil.
“Many thanks to dozens of heads of state who listened to me and helped us overcome a crisis that only interested those who want to weaken Brazil,” Bolsonaro tweeted on Sunday.
This is not the first time tiny Israel has helped Brazil, the world’s fifth-largest country. In January, Israel sent a rescue team and equipment to Brazil after a catastrophic collapse of a mining dam. Israeli search-and-rescue teams helped for hundreds of missing people who were feared to be dead.
Unfortunately, Israel has a great deal of experience in extinguishing wildfires. Palestinian rioters on the Gaza border have launched thousands of incendiary balloons and kites into Israel, igniting wildfires that burned tens of thousands of acres of agricultural fields and nature reserves.
Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world. The cattle sector of the Brazilian Amazon, incentivized by the international beef and leather trades, has been responsible for about 80 percent of all deforestation in the region, or about 14% of the world’s total annual deforestation, making it the world’s largest single driver of deforestation. Much of this deforestation is carried out by using the slash-and-burn method. It is suggested that at some point the forest will reach a tipping point, where it will no longer be able to produce enough rainfall to sustain itself.
Netanyahu attended Bolsonaro’s inauguration in January after the right-wing candidate won over 55 percent of the national vote. He was stabbed by a left-wing activist while campaigning but survived. He is right-wing, was an officer in Brazil’s military, and has been compared to U.S. President Trump. His election ended 15-years of anti-Israel policy for Brazil. In April, Bolsonaro became the first head of state to tour the Western Wall accompanied by an Israeli prime minister.