JERUSALEM (JTA) — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has come under fire for saying that the crimes of the Holocaust can be forgiven.
“We can forgive, but we cannot forget,” Bolsonaro reportedly said at a meeting with Evangelical pastors in Rio de Janiero on Thursday night. “Those who forget the past are condemned to not have a future,” he added, according to the New York Times.
His comments drew applause from the pastors.
Bolsonaro, an ardently pro-Israel Christian, visited Israel two weeks ago, where he had a private tour of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.
“It is not the place of any person to determine whether the crimes of the Holocaust can be forgiven,” Yad Vashem said in a statement sent to Israeli media on Saturday night. “From the day of its founding, Yad Vashem has worked for the continuation of the memory and meaning [of the Holocaust] for the Jewish people and for mankind as a whole.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin was very direct in his criticism in a tweet. “What Amalek did to us inscribed in our memory, the memory of an ancient people. We will never aid those who deny the truth or those who wish to expunge our memory – not individuals or groups, not party leaders or prime ministers. We will never forgive and never forget. No-one will order the forgiveness of the Jewish people, and it can never be bought in the name of interests. The Jewish people will always fight anti-Semitism and xenophobia. Political leaders are responsible for shaping the future. Historians describe the past and research what happened. Neither should stray into the territory of the other.”
As of midnight on Saturday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who escorted Bolsonaro around Israel during his visit, had not responded to the Brazilian president’s remarks.
https://www.jta.org/2019/04/13/israel/c ... onaro-says
Here us the tweet by Reuven Rivlin:
https://twitter.com/PresidentRuvi/statu ... 1375546368
The usage of the term Amalek I find remarkable. It's almost an appeal to Mythology there. Then of course pointing out that there is, according to him, a "denial of truth". I'd say they overreacted with their response there.