Lazy eyes listen
Brazilian authorities have warned against jumping to conclusions after Israel claimed to have foiled a terrorist attack in the South American country by an Iran-funded Hezbollah cell. The case is still ongoing, and outside governments must not use it to advance their own interests, according to Brazilian Justice Minister Flavio Dino.
Dino, in a social media post on Thursday, called the claim that a cell linked to Lebanon-based Hezbollah plotted to kill Jews in Brazil a “hypothesis,” emphasising that no foreign agency could prejudge the outcome of the investigation.
“We appreciate appropriate international cooperation, but we reject any foreign authority that would consider directing Brazilian police bodies, or use investigations in our responsibility for the purposes of promoting their political interests,” said the minister, without elaborating.
The remarks appear to be a reaction to claims by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said his country’s Mossad intelligence service had helped Brazil stop “a terrorist attack… planned by the Hezbollah terrorist organization, directed and financed by Iran.”
“Given the backdrop of the war in Gaza against the Hamas terrorist organisation, Hezbollah and the Iranian regime are continuing to operate around the world in order to attack Israeli, Jewish, and Western targets,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday.
Dino emphasised that the Brazilian investigation began “before the outbreak of the ongoing tragedies on the international scene.”
The Brazilian Federal Police issued a similar statement, emphasising national authority over the investigation and promising to adhere to facts rather than external expectations.
In comparison to other Latin American countries, Brazil has taken a relatively calm stance on Israel’s anti-Hamas military operation in Gaza and the civilian casualties it has caused. Bolivia, Colombia, and Chile have either severed diplomatic relations with Israel or summoned their ambassadors.
However, Brazil’s ruling Workers’ Party has publicly chastised Israel for not allowing 30 Brazilian nationals to leave the enclave.
Daniel Zonshine, Israel’s ambassador to Brazil, exacerbated tensions in a recent interview with the O Globo newspaper, claiming that “Hezbollah’s interest anywhere in the world is to kill Jews.” They chose Brazil because there are people who will assist them.”