South Asia and Beyond

US Says It Disagrees With Lula’s Holocaust Comment

US secretary of state Anthony Blinken has said that he disagrees with Brazilian President's comments on the Holocaust
 US Says It Disagrees With Lula’s Holocaust Comment

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has told Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva that Washington DC disagrees with Lula’s controversial remarks comparing Israel’s actions in Gaza to the Holocaust, the AFP reported.

During a 90-minute discussion with Lula in Brasilia, Blinken made clear he disagreed with those comments.

On February 18, Lula compared Israel’s actions in Gaza to the Holocaust.

“What is happening in the Gaza Strip with the Palestinian people has no parallel in other historical moments. In fact, it did exist when Hitler decided to kill the Jews,” Lula said.

“It’s not a war of soldiers against soldiers. It’s a war between a highly prepared army and women and children,” Lula added.

Israel reacted furiously and declared the Lula “persona non grata.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Lula of trivialising the issue, saying “This is a trivialisation of the Holocaust and an attempt to attack the Jewish people and the right of Israel to self-defence. Drawing comparisons between Israel and the Nazis and Hitler is to cross a red line.”

A senior state department official who was travelling with the president “raised the issue and made clear we disagree with those comments,” the AFP reported.

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Some of the other issues the pair discussed included the Ukraine war where Ukraine and the US have been at loggerheads.

The official said Blinken thanked Brazil for “its efforts to try and reduce tensions between Venezuela and Guyana.”

Lula wrote on X that he and Blinken discussed issues including a US-Brazilian initiative on helping workers, the environment and the clean-energy transition, in addition to the wars in Gaza and Ukraine.

This happens to be Blinken’s first trip to Brazil since taking office three years ago.

The Brazilian president visited Washington a month after taking office to meet with President Joe Biden, but since has pushed back on issues like Ukraine and the war on Gaza.