Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro during a visit at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem on April 2, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton)

On April 2, Bolsonaro visited the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During that visit, the Brazilian leader labeled Nazism a leftist ideology, a claim rejected by historians.

“We can forgive, but we cannot forget. That quote is mine. Those that forget their past are sentenced not to have a future,” Bolsonaro said, adding that actions are needed for the Holocaust not to be repeated.

The far-right leader was asked on his visit to Israel if he agreed with the claim by his foreign minister, Ernesto Araujo, that Nazis were leftists. “There is no doubt, right?” Bolsonaro replied, according to Reuters.

It is widely accepted that Nazism was a far-right movement. Yad Vashem’s website says that a range of factors, including Germany’s defeat in World War I, “created fertile soil for the growth of radical right-wing groups in Germany, spawning entities such as the Nazi Party.”

Netanyahu has eagerly embraced the newly-elected Bolsonaro, who has found common ground with the prime minister’s right-wing government. His outspoken support for Israel has also played well to his evangelical base.

Netanyahu traveled to Brazil earlier in the year for Bolsanaro’s inauguration and the Brazilian leader then came to Israel in a high-profile visit just days before Israel’s elections, in a move many said was designed to bolster Netanyahu’s election chances.

As reported by The Times of Israel

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