RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Brazilians elected a president who is a far-right, ardently pro-Israel veteran pol who once declared “My heart is green, yellow, blue and white,” in a reference to the colors of the Israeli and Brazilian flags.
“Far-right”: i.e., hated by the political and media establishment.
Jair Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old seven-term congressman who built his campaign around pledges to crush corruption and crime, secured over 55 percent of the vote, an 11 percent lead over his far-left rival Fernando Haddad.
“We cannot continue flirting with socialism, communism, populism and leftist extremism … We are going to change the destiny of Brazil,” said Bolsonaro in his late Sunday night acceptance speech broadcast from his home in Rio, which showed a Jewish menorah in the background of the video.
Highly divisive among Jewish voters, the Conservative lawmaker — whose middle name, Messias, literally means “messiah” — won the ballot after a drama-filled election that looks set to radically reforge the future of the world’s fourth biggest democracy, leaving nearly 15 years of far-left governments behind….
For many Jewish voters, Bolsonaro has always been a dream president. He has declared he will move the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. His first international trip as president, he said, will be to Israel, with which he will seek to broaden the dialogue. And he promised to close the Palestinian embassy in Brasilia.
“Is Palestine a country? Palestine is not a country, so there should be no embassy here,” Bolsonaro said weeks ago. “You do not negotiate with terrorists.”…
“Bolsonaro stood out among the many candidates for including the State of Israel in the major speeches he made during the campaign,” Israel’s honorary consul in Rio, Osias Wurman, told JTA last week. “He is a lover of the people and the State of Israel.”…
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