Donald Trump places his hand on the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Photo: Dan Hansen
Brazilian evangelicals want Temer to follow Trump on Jerusalem issue

Donald Trump places his hand on the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Photo: Dan Hansen

When U.S. President Donald Trump decided to declare Jerusalem – and not Tel-Aviv – as the capital of Israel, he sparked protests in the Middle East and a wave of criticism from scholars, politicians, and other nations. Some went as far as to accuse Trump of an act of war and promoting violence. But this was not the case for a particular group of people: evangelical leaders in Brazil.

“The Evangelical community welcomes Trump’s decision. It is an important step to make Israel a solid Jewish state,” Congressman Jony Marcos told the BBC. Marcos is the president of the Parliamentary Group for Israel-Brazil Freedom. While such parliamentary groups are usually abandoned as soon as they are created, the “friends of Israel” are quite active, with 46 members of Congress – 31 of which are evangelical.

Marcos and his clique want to set up a meeting with President Temer to pressure him into following in Trump’s footsteps. That is, after the parliamentary vacation time that will take place between December and January.

Members of the evangelical caucus have already met with Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Aloysio Nunes and his predecessor Senator José Serra. But evangelicals have grown frustrated by seeing their lobbying efforts fail to convince Brazil’s government into taking one of the most controversial positions in current geopolitics. Instead, Brazil continues to vote in favor of United Nations peace resolutions, which condemn how Israel treats the territories and sites sacred to Palestinians.

In 1948, Jerusalem was divided into two sections: one was controlled by Israel, while the other was under Jordan’s administration. After the Six-Day War, however, Israel seized control over Muslim-controlled Jerusalem. Since then, Israeli settlements have been erected across the territory. These settlements are considered illegal.

Brazilian evangelicals argue that the Bible specifies that Jewish people are the chosen ones, and therefore Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. For them, Israel’s claim over Jerusalem must be recognized for the new messiah to emerge.

Evangelicals and Trump

The process to change U.S. diplomatic services is quite lengthy, taking up to 4 years, but Trump still managed to fulfill one of his campaign promises. However, the decision to move the U.S. Embassy came after heavy lobbying from Christian conservatives. As with Brazil, it was the evangelicals aligned with conservative Israeli movements who played a major role in championing the issue.

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BY The Brazilian Report

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