Brazil’s Far-Right President Says Holocaust Crimes Can Be Forgiven, Not Forgotten

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Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro believes that Holocaust crimes can be forgiven, but not forgotten, The Hill reports.

Bolsonaro’s controversial comments come only days after his visit to the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem. The Brazilian president visited the center together with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“We can forgive, but we cannot forget. That quote is mine. Those who forget their past are sentenced not to have a future,” Bolsonaro said.

Making outrageous statements is not out of the ordinary for the far-right leader. Bolsonaro recently came under fire for suggesting that Nazism is a left-wing ideology. The Brazilian president argued that the fact that the National Socialist German Workers’ Party — commonly referred to as the Nazi Party — had the word “socialism” in its name means that Nazism is a left-wing movement.

Nevertheless, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has openly praised Bolsonaro, arguing that the relationship between Israel and Brazil has never been better, as reported by The Times of Israel. Netanyahu likened Bolsonaro to Trump, praising him for wanting to move Brazil’s embassy to Jerusalem.

“President Bolsonaro said he’ll move the embassy to Jerusalem. It’s not a matter of if, but when. President Trump said the same thing, he moved the embassy. And President Bolsonaro will move the embassy as well.”

It is not unusual for the Israeli prime minister to embrace far-right leaders. As NPR pointed out, Netanyahu appears to have a tendency to cozy up to leaders with “controversial” views on the Holocaust. Critics have condemned Netanyahu’s embrace of leaders such as Hungary’s Victor Orban and Italy’s Matteo Salvini.

Supporters claim that this is a matter of political strategy, arguing that Netanyahu is simply looking for a way to improve Israel’s standing among European Union member states.

Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro is not only known for making outrageous statements — he is also considered to be one of the most extreme leaders in the world. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Bolsonaro is a proponent of dictatorship and an admirer of Brazil’s brutal military regime. He also supports torture, and frequently makes obscenely homophobic comments.

Bolsonaro has already established a relationship with the Trump administration. National Security Adviser John Bolton revealed in November 2018 that Bolsonaro will be collaborating with the United States to develop a strategy to confront Venezuela and Cuba.

Bolsonaro visited the White House in March, bonding with President Donald Trump, according to France 24. Trump made Bolsonaro’s Brazil a “major non-NATO ally,” which allows the country to purchase American military equipment and technology before others.

After meeting with Trump, Bolsonaro went on Fox News to discuss the president’s border wall.