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Change of policy

Nov 04,2018 - Last updated at Nov 04,2018

The first thing that far-right Brazilian army captain, Jair Bolsonaro, said after he was elected president of his country last week, in a run-off election against leftist Fernando Haddad was that he was going to govern “following the Bible and the constitution”. So far so good.

A few days after he was elected president, he replied to a question made by pro-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu newspaper Israel Hayom whether he was going to honour his campaign pledge to move his country's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He replied in the affirmative. “The one who decides on the capital of Israel is you [Israel], no other nation.”

What or where in the Bible, that the new Brazilian president professed to follow, there is a sacred call for the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and then take up the follow up step of transferring the Brazilian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. What chapter and verse in the Bible was he referring to when making or justifying such a dramatic change of policy on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, so soon after the presidential election.

The Bible preaches justice and fairness to peoples, not their oppression or subjugation. This makes one wonder whether Bolsonaro had made “deal” of sorts with Israel before his election in order to win the support of the pro-Israeli lobby in Brazil, especially when he won with a slim majority vote of 55 per cent.

One could have appreciated the newly elected president's grand policy to lift his country from the grip of corruption, crime and economic malaise. He should have stopped there, instead of diverting his compass to controversial foreign policy issues that he seems not fully abreast of their complications as to become unable to distinguish right from wrong.

If Brazil makes good on this change of policy, it would be the second country after the US to have done so, in defiance of international law and UN resolutions. Not exactly a good start for the new president.

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