Written by Soraya Misleh *
Friday, 23 January 2015 20:18
The former governor of Bahia, Mr. Jacques Wagner, was appointed the new Minister of Defense by the recently reelected president Dilma Rousseff.
In his inaugural address, Mr. Wagner thanked the Israeli ambassador to Brazil, Reda Mansour, for his presence, which was not fortuitous since Brazil currently figures among the five largest importers of Israeli military technologies.
The appointment of Mr. Wagner is problematic, to say the least, since he is a Zionist. When he was young, he joined the Zionist Youth Organization in Brazil and since then he keeps close links with Israeli leaders responsible for ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.
In an interview to the Jewish Federation of Rio Grande do Sul published in its website in October 2006 when Mr. Wagner was elected governor of Bahia, he said: “From the moment I became a congressman (elected in 1990 for the first of three consecutive 4-years terms), I have been a member of the Brazil-Israel Parliamentary Group and, in this capacity, I visited Israel. When there is a problem involving the State of Israel, the Israeli ambassador to Brazil calls me to talk. I participate whenever the (Jewish) community invites me to important events.” In the same interview he added: “I am often approached by Israeli high-tech companies to open contacts in Brazil. In Bahia, for example, there are already several partnerships in the areas of irrigation between Bahia landowners and Israeli companies.”
In 2010 Mr. Wagner took part of a Brazilian official delegation, together with President Lula, on a trip to Israel, which resulted in security cooperation agreements between Palestine’s occupying power and Brazil, expanding military agreements in an ongoing process since 2007.
As published in Bahia’s media at the time, “the invitation to Mr. Wagner to travel with Lula is due to the good relationship of Bahia’s governor with the Israeli government […] Mr. Wagner also held a meeting between Abbas (President of the collaborationist Palestinian Authority) and the Israeli Society of Bahia.”
One of the agreements signed during his tenure as state governor was the cooperation agreement between Bahia’s Company for Water and Sanitation (Embasa) and Israeli Mekorot, responsible for water apartheid in Palestine.
One of his last actions was the inauguration in October 28, 2014 in the Subaé Industrial Center located in the city of Feira de Santana, of the Tama Plastic Industry premises, which produces special plastic packaging for the harvest of cotton, called Round Module Wrap (RMW).
This Israeli company is located in Kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek, in the Galilee region. Historically, the kibbutzim have been instrumental for the colonization of Palestine. A Zionist website describes a “battle” that took place there in April 1948, with the participation of the Haganah, one of the paramilitary forces which participated in the ethnic cleansing that culminated in the creation of the State of Israel on May 15 of that year.
Israeli companies have always been critical for the implementation of the Zionist policies. That is why boycotting them is a demonstration of active solidarity with the Palestinians. Unfortunately, this is not what the Brazilian government has been carrying out, despite of international conventions and agreements in the area of human rights that the country is one of the signatories. In order to prevent Mr. Wagner from transforming the Ministry for Defense into an Israeli outpost it is necessary to build momentum for BDS campaign in Brazil now!
* Front in Defense of Palestinian People – BDS Brazil