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Israel, Brazilian Jews slam recall of Brazilian ambassador from Tel Aviv

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(JTA) — Representatives of Brazil’s Jewish community said their government’s recall of its ambassador from Israel amounted to a defense of Hamas.

The statement by CONIB, an umbrella body, came Thursday, a day after Brasilia announced that it was recalling for consultation its ambassador to Israel, Henrique Sardinha, to protest Israel’s attacks on Hamas in Gaza.

CONIB expressed its “indignation with the announcement sent Wednesday, which evidences a one-sided attitude to the conflict in Gaza in which the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticizes Israel and ignores the actions of the terrorist group Hamas,” CONIB wrote in a statement titled “Reaction to Itamaraty’s declaration  which criticizes Israel and spares Hamas any criticism.”

Itamaraty is the name of the palace that houses the ministry.

In its statement Wednesday, the ministry wrote: “The Brazilian government considers as unacceptable the escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine. We vigorously condemn the use of disproportionate force by Israel in the Gaza Strip, which resulted in an elevated number of civilians victims, including women and children.”

The statement mentioned neither Hamas nor any other offensive actions by Palestinians.

Israel also condemned the Brazilian statement.

“This is an unfortunate demonstration of why Brazil, an economic and cultural giant, remains a diplomatic dwarf,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told The Jerusalem Post. “The moral relativism behind this move makes Brazil an irrelevant diplomatic partner, one who creates problems rather than contributes to solutions.”

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