Lula Banned from Israel as Ambassadors Recalled – Israeli Union Chief Calls for Netanyahu to Resign – Black AME Church Council Calls for Ceasefire

Lula expelled Israel's ambassador to Brazil today.


Greetings from Rio de Janeiro, where President Lula has started a major fight with Israel.

Lula Banned from Israel as Ambassadors Recalled

Today, the Brazilian government withdrew its ambassador to Israel and Israel recalled its ambassador. Israel has also banned Lula from visiting Israel.

It all started this past weekend, while speaking at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, President Lula forcefully denounced Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza. 

“It is important to remember that, in 2010, Brazil was the first country to recognize the Palestinian State. I need to stop being small when we have to be big,” said Lula. “What is happening in Gaza with the Palestinian people does not exist at any other historical moment. In fact, it existed when Hitler decided to kill the Jews”. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Lula’s comparison of Israelis to Nazis by calling Lula “persona non grata.” 

Lula’s top foreign policy advisor, Celso Amorim, responded, “This is absurd. Israel’s isolation only grows. Lula is sought after worldwide, whereas Israel is a persona non grata.”

Lula has worked with nations around the world to stop Israel’s genocide in Gaza. His expulsion of the Israeli ambassador could lead to other countries following suit and taking stiffer action against Israel. 

The Lula Administration then responded to Netanyahu by withdrawing the Brazilian Ambassador to Israel, while the Brazilian government also expelled the Israeli Ambassador to Brazil. 

Read Lula’s full remarks on the crisis in Israel here. 

Help Us Cover Brazil’s Fight to Stop the Genocide in Gaza

Over the past few weeks, Payday Report has noticed a significant increase in traffic regarding our coverage of Brazil. While it may not seem like our traditional labor coverage, we live in a world where our movement is truly global. 

President Lula has emerged as a leader of the global left in the fight to stop the genocide in Gaza, and many of our readers have shown keen interest.  

Donate to help us continue to cover Brazil’s effort to stop genocide in Gaza. Please sign up as one of our 773 recurring donors today. 

Israeli Union Chief Calls for New Elections and Netayanhu’s Resignation 

This weekend, Arnon Bar-David, the head of Israel’s largest union federation, Histadrut, called for Netanyahu to resign and allow new elections. 

“He took us to the edge, to a place we should not have been… We’re at a dead-end, and there’s only one way out: elections,” Bar-David told the press this weekend. “He should take responsibility for what happened, and then he should make decisions regarding himself. If I were prime minister, I would resign.”

Last year, the Histadrut called for a general strike to oppose Netanyahu’s plan to overhaul the judicial system. 

However, the union federation has yet to call for a general strike to stop the genocide in Gaza. 

For more, check out the Times of Israel. 

Black AME Church Council Calls for End of US Aid to Israel

Black and young people were vital to Biden’s victory in 2020, and polling has shown that Biden’s support has fallen among both groups this time. 

This weekend, the Council of Bishops of the Black AME Church, which represents over 3 million congregants in the US, called for the US to end its military aid to Israel as it prepares to attack Rafah. 

“The tools of empire, colonialism, and domination will not solve the problems they created,” read the statement from the Council. “The cycle of violence between historically wounded peoples will not be dissolved by the creation of more wounds or through weapons of war. We remain in solidarity with Jesus Christ of Nazareth, a Palestinian Jew, and the Prince of Peace.” 

For more, Will Bunch at the Philly Inquirer has an in-depth look at how Gaza is hurting Biden’s support among Black churchgoers.

Summer Lee Fails to Win Pittsburgh Labor Endorsement Again, But Majority of Unions Back Her for Re-Election

Back up in Pittsburgh, Congresswoman Summer Lee, an outspoken supporter of Palestine, has failed once again to secure the endorsement of the Allegheny-Fayette Labor Council. 

While Lee was close to achieving the 2/3rd majority needed to win the endorsement, several construction unions, which have long objected to her opposition to fracking, opposed Lee. The result was the closest that Lee has ever come to winning the endorsement of the Labor Council in any of her election campaigns. 

However, most major unions in Pittsburgh are expected to support Lee in her bid for re-election. 

Polk Awards Honor Scab Reporters at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Finally, after the Pulitzer Prize, the Polk Awards are the most prestigious annual awards in the country given out for journalism. 

Today, the Polk Awards honored a joint feature by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and ProPublica on toxic faults in breathing machines. The investigative story was done by reporters who had crossed the picket line at the Post-Gazette. 

This marks the first time that the Polk Awards have honored scab reporters. Payday Report will not link to the piece out of respect for the strike. 

News & Strikes Happening Elsewhere 

Alright, yinz, that’s all for today. Keep sending tips, story ideas, comments, and complains to [email protected] 

Donate to help us keep covering things happening here in Brasil. Please, if you can, sign up as one of our 773 recurring donors today. 

Thanks again for all the support. 

Love & Solidarity, 


CORRECTION: With translations between Hebrew and Portuguese, several Brazilian outlets misreported the news of what occurred. Lula has not expelled the ambassador to Israel, but Lula has been banned from Israel.

Rather, after Brazil recalled its ambassador to Israel, the Israelis responded by recalling their ambassador. Israel has also banned Lula from being in the country. We regret the error.

About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]