Israel’s President Shimon Peres, right, shakes hands with Brazil’s Defense Minister Nelson Jobim in Brasilia on Tuesday. (Eraldo Peres/Associated Press)
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2009
Jerusalem – As an integral part of his visit this week to South America, Israeli President Shimon Peres shared intelligence with Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim regarding Iran and Hezbollah being active in the three-way border between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.
Hezbollah terrorist cells working there are engaging, among other things, in money laundering, arms trafficking, drug trafficking and diamond smuggling in order to finance terrorist activity, according to the information conveyed by President Peres.
Israel warned Brazil and other Latin American countries of Hezbollah’s intentions to perpetrate terror attacks against Jewish and Israeli targets in South America similar to the large-scale, murderous terror attacks that were committed during the 1990s against the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires and the Jewish community center in that city.
This is the first visit by an Israeli president to Brazil in 40 years.
Upon landing, Mr. Peres received a magnificent reception that included an honor guard, a military parade and a gun salute. Afterwards, Mr. Peres held a long meeting with Defense Minister Jobim, who is considered to be one of the strongest men in the Brazilian government.
Mr. Peres brought three leaders of Israel’s defense industry – the director-general of Israel Aerospace Industries, the director-general of Elbit and a representative of Rafael – to the meeting in order to advance defense deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The Brazilian army is currently undergoing a modernization, and Israel’s defense industries wish to take part in this process.
Mr. Peres was invited to address the Brazilian parliament, where Israel’s president made specific reference to the fact that Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be visiting Brazil this week. Mr. Peres remarked that he “finds it amazing to come from a nation where it is common to see people branded with concentration camp numbers to address a nation who will hear from another nation’s leader that the mass murder of Jews never occurred.”
David Bedein can be reached at: email@example.com