Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon / GPO
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro embraces Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after his inauguration on 1 January 2019

Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in Tuesday as Brazil’s new president in an inauguration ceremony attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, among myriad other world leaders.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro, Sara Netanyahu at inauguration of Brazil’s new president on 1 Jan. 2019 in Brasilia

During the reception in which international leaders were presented, one at a time, to congratulate the new president, there was only one that prompted an unbridled, joyous response from Bolsonaro: Israel’s Netanyahu. As the Israeli prime minister reached the official reception line to shake the new president’s hand, Bolsonaro simply reached out and embraced his friend in a big, bear hug. Video follows.


In his address to the joint session of Congress, Bolsonaro, a former Army captain called on lawmakers to “combat corruption” and promised to “work tirelessly so that Brazil reaches its destiny.” He pledged to be faithful to democratic norms, saying his vow was “to strengthen Brazil’s democracy.”

It took no time at all for U.S. President Donald Trump to congratulate his new Brazilian counterpart via Twitter, saying he had “made a great inauguration speech – the U.S.A. is with you!”

And even less time for Bolsonaro’s reply, also via Twitter:

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.