Netanyahu and his wife were greeted at the airport Friday by the incoming president's son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, and Rio Mayor Marcelo Bezerra Crivella.
But Netanyahu has for the first time found himself at odds with Trump after the USA leader s sudden announcement last week that he will bring home all 2,000 American troops from war-ravaged Syria, where Israel saw Washington s presence as a bulwark against Iran and counterweight to the influence of Russian Federation.
He is scheduled to fly to Brasilia on Tuesday and take part in the inauguration of Bolsonaro, whose right wing brand of politics signals a significant change in direction for Brazil, which from 2002 to 2016 was ruled by the left wing Worker's Party.
Despite considerable courtship efforts, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far failed to get a public assurance from Brazil's president-elect of his intent to move that country's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The Brazilian newspaper O Globo had reported Wednesday that Netanyahu chose to shorten his week long visit to just two days after his coalition announced the dissolution of the Knesset and moved up elections to April 9. "We agreed between us on the way to take this cooperation to new heights".
Brazil and Israel have previously had cordial but strained relations. "We want more people to partner with Israel, as well as with us".
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Brazilian Navy soldiers patrol the Copacabana beach near the place where Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend a lunch in Rio de Janeiro, Dec. 28, 2018.
Bolsonaro has indicated he will adopt positions similar to those of President Donald Trump.
"We will be starting a hard government from January, but Brazil has potential", Bolsonaro said. Brazil has traditionally backed a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is a great country with great potential for Israel in economics, diplomacy and security.
Bolsonaro discussed Israel during a meeting in Rio with Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, late last month.
The survey, carried out by polling company Datafolha, indicates that 42 percent of citizens "completely agree" with the idea of tighter control over immigration to Brazil, with an additional 24 percent saying they somewhat agree with the statement.
Brazil, he said, "is an vast country with enormous potential for Israel from an economic, security and diplomatic point of view".