Brazil Turns against Israel

Last year, Brasilia rejected Jerusalem’s newly appointed ambassador, Dani Dayan. The decision, made by the government of Dilma Rousseff of the Workers party, marked an increasingly anti-Israel mood among the Brazilian left. Rousseff’s recent impeachment has brought into power a centrist coalition, better disposed to the Jewish state; but André Lajst cautions against excessive optimism:

This hostility toward Israel has largely been the result of political changes in Brazil itself. In 2002, the left-wing Workers party rose to power. . . . [L]ike much of the Latin American left, it has been greatly influenced by radical Palestinians and their supporters. And it is not alone. Anti-Israel groups have managed to find an intellectual, academic, and political home within many left-wing social and political movements in Brazil. . . .

This is, of course, a reflection of international trends, particularly in Western Europe. But there is a major difference: due to the party’s political success, individuals and groups who embrace the anti-Israel narrative have become influential activists, academics, intellectuals, and government officials, particularly in the educational system. Taking advantage of universities and institutions with high social visibility and the capacity to mold public opinion, they regularly engage in anti-Israel propaganda. The result is catastrophic for Israel’s image. . . .

Throughout its history, Brazil has fostered massive economic inequality, with a poverty-stricken majority and a super-wealthy elite. This has led many to see the world as a Manichean struggle between the evil rich and the virtuous poor. Due to the stereotype of the Jews as wealthy, this can quickly lead to viewing the Jews as a force for evil. This ideology [also involves] the identification of the United States with the evil rich. Since Israel is a strong ally of the U.S., it can lead to the conclusion that “the best friend of my enemy is my enemy as well.” . . .

[The rise to power of a friendlier government bodes well] for Israel, but has also created a backlash from the current political opposition, which is against Rousseff’s impeachment. Unfortunately, political beliefs in Brazil are often a zero-sum game. If Israel becomes associated with the right-wing parties, the left feels it must reject it, regardless of the facts. A left- or right-wing voter adopts his party’s agenda wholesale. If this includes being against Israel, a voter will accept this without question.

Read more at Tower

More about: Anti-Semitism, Brazil, Israel & Zionism, Israel diplomacy, Latin America

Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security