Wednesday, April 24, 2024

“I would not exchange my freedom for my dignity”: Brazil’s Lula blasts Israel’s ‘genocide’ in Gaza – again

Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has doubled down on his criticism of Israel, saying, once again, that what “the Israeli government is doing is not war, it is genocide”.

“Children and women are being murdered,” Lula said at a public event and then posted his comments on social media.

Referring to the furore in Israel over comments last weekend when he compared Israel’s war on Gaza to the Holocaust, Lula said on Friday night that people should read for themselves what he had said about Israel’s conduct.

“Read the interview and stop judging me based on the speech of the prime minister of Israel,” Lula said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week that the Brazilian president had “crossed a red line” when he said that Gaza “isn’t a war, it’s a genocide”, and compared the conflict to “when Hitler decided to kill the Jews”.

Israel’s foreign minister quickly declared Lula “persona non grata in the state” until he retracts his remarks and issues an apology. The minister, Israel Katz, later described Lula’s comments as “delusional”.

In his post on Saturday, Lula added: “In the same way that I said when I was in prison that I would not accept a deal to get out of jail and that I would not exchange my freedom for my dignity, I say: I will not exchange my dignity for falsehood. I am in favour of the creation of a free and sovereign Palestinian State. May this Palestinian State live in harmony with the State of Israel.”

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