Brazil finds more than a friend in Is­rael

The lead­ers of the two coun­tries have made head­lines re­cently for their bud­ding friend­ship. But there’s more than a bro­mance driv­ing their coun­tries to­gether

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - WORLD - By Al­li­son Fedirka

The friendly re­la­tion­ship be­tween Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu and Brazil’s new pres­i­dent, Jair Bol­sonaro, made head­lines at the end of 2018. This “bud­ding brother­hood,” as they’ve called it, started when Bol­sonaro, then the pres­i­dent-elect, an­nounced plans to move Brazil’s em­bassy in Is­rael from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Though he has since re­vised that prom­ise, re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries con­tinue to flour­ish. Ne­tanyahu even at­tended Bol­sonaro’s in­au­gu­ra­tion Jan­uary 1, be­com­ing the first sit­ting Is­raeli prime min­is­ter to visit Brazil. More than a bro­mance, the close ties be­tween the two lead­ers are a tes­ta­ment to their coun­tries’ for­eign pol­icy strate­gies. is­sue where Is­rael’s knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence will come in handy for Brazil. Is­rael is a global leader in ir­ri­ga­tion tech­nol­ogy, in­clud­ing drip wa­ter­ing, de­sali­na­tion and ex­tract­ing mois­ture from the air. In­no­va­tion in the field has en­abled it to over­come arid and desert con­di­tions to sus­tain agri­cul­ture, and that in­ge­nu­ity could be in­valu­able for Brazil. The South Amer­i­can coun­try’s semi-arid North­east re­gion is cur­rently in the throes of a years­long drought that has hurt lo­cal economies and pop­u­la­tions that rely on rain­fall for their agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties. The Brazil­ian govern­ment his­tor­i­cally has taken an ad hoc ap­proach to ad­dress­ing these prob­lems, for ex­am­ple by truck­ing in large vol­umes of wa­ter to al­le­vi­ate droughts. Work­ing with Is­rael, Brazil could de­vise a longer-term strat­egy to mit­i­gate the ef­fects of un­even rain­fall and lay the nec­es­sary ground­work to keep de­vel­op­ing the North­east. The Brazil­ian Se­nate un­veiled plans for such an ini­tia­tive early last year, and the topic will be a pri­or­ity when Bol­sonaro vis­its Is­rael, as he is ex­pected to do in the first quar­ter of this year.

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