At the end of the month, Brazilian right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro would be visiting Israel. However, he won’t be able to stick to his promise to move Brazil’s embassy to Jerusalem, a move resisted by military officers in his cabinet.
A government official told reporters on Wednesday that no decision has been reached on the embassy relocation, which could give Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s standing a strong support, a week before Israel’s scheduled elections.
During his trip, something needs to be said about the embassy, an official with knowledge about the matter stated. He also stated that a formal announcement might not be made during his visit that is scheduled from 31st March to 2nd April visit as the Israeli government had looked for.
Visiting Brazil for the 1st Jan presidential inauguration, Netanyahu stated that Bolsonaro told him that moving the Brazilian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv was a matter of “when, not if.”
However, in an interview in February, Vice President Hamilton Mourao, a retired Army general, mentioned that Bolsonaro’s decision to relocate the embassy was a bad idea because it would impact Brazilian exports to Arab countries, which includes an estimated $5 billion in halal food sales.
The plan of moving the embassy, after President Donald Trump moved the U.S. mission – has troubled Brazilian exporters who dread of losing access to important Arab markets for halal meats, which abide by Muslim dietary rules.
Brazil is one of the world’s top halal meat exporters, and Islamic countries such as Iran and Egypt are its third and fourth biggest beef buyers, according to the Brazilian Beef Exporters Association.
Bolsonaro’s economic team and the nation’s powerful farm lobby have suggested against the relocation that would break with Brazil’s traditional stand of support for a two-state solution to the Palestinian battle.