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Brazil's Jewish community supports Temer; hopeful of normalization of relations with Israel

Monday, May 16th 2016 - 06:01 UTC
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Temer was born in Sao Paulo, is Catholic and the son of Maronite Lebanese immigrants from Btaaboura, Koura district, neighboring Tripoli in north Lebanon Temer was born in Sao Paulo, is Catholic and the son of Maronite Lebanese immigrants from Btaaboura, Koura district, neighboring Tripoli in north Lebanon
“The interruption of a mandate is not something to celebrate, but the maturation of our democracy must be highlighted,” said Fernando Lottenberg “The interruption of a mandate is not something to celebrate, but the maturation of our democracy must be highlighted,” said Fernando Lottenberg
Jose Serra a longtime friend of the Jewish community is foreign minister, and Ilan Goldfajn, (Pic) an esteemed economist born in Israel, president of the Central Bank. Jose Serra a longtime friend of the Jewish community is foreign minister, and Ilan Goldfajn, (Pic) an esteemed economist born in Israel, president of the Central Bank.

The elevation of a centrist vice president, Michel Temer, as Brazil’s president amid the impeachment process of Dilma Rousseff is expected to result in a less strained relationship between Brazil and Israel, as well as its Jewish community, Jewish leaders in Sao Paulo said.

 Temer, 75, the son of Lebanese immigrants, took the helm of Latin America’s largest nation on Thursday. He has been vice president since 2011. Rousseff was suspended by the Brazilian Congress for 180 days as part of an ongoing impeachment process. She has rankled the Jewish community with what were seen as anti-Israel remarks, including calling Israel’s conflict with Hamas in 2014 “a massacre.”

The Rousseff government also refused to accept the appointment of a former West Bank settler leader, Dani Dayan, as ambassador to Brasilia. In March, Dayan was named consul general in New York and no one has been named in his place.

“The interruption of a mandate is not something to celebrate, but the maturation of our democracy must be highlighted,” Fernando Lottenberg, president of the Brazilian Israelite Confederation, told JTA. “We’ll keep an effective and open dialogue with the new government regarding national, international and community-related subjects.”

Among his first moves, Temer announced that Jose Serra, a longtime friend of the Jewish community, as the minister of foreign relations and Ilan Goldfajn, an esteemed economist who was born in Israel, as president of the Central Bank. Goldfajn, who is Jewish, will attempt to boost the world’s eighth largest economy in the throes of its biggest financial crisis in a century.

In January, in light of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Temer welcomed Lottenberg, who addressed him on the importance of the approval of Brazil’s first anti-terrorism law, which eventually passed in March.

Born in Sao Paulo and a Roman Catholic, Temer is the son of Maronite Lebanese immigrants from the town of Btaaboura in the Koura district, neighboring the capital Tripoli in northern Lebanon. His father fled to Brazil to escape famine and war in the 1920s.

Well-respected in Brazil, Temer heads Brazil’s largest party PMDB, which announced its rupture with the Rousseff government weeks ago, contributing to the impeachment process.

“You are more president of Lebanon than me as you have 8 million, we have 5 million,” Lebanon’s then-president, Michel Suleiman, told Temer in 2011, according to the Ya Libnan news service, referencing the large Lebanese community estimated at between 7 million and 10 million members in Brazil, or nearly 5% of the population.

Categories: Politics, Brazil, International.

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  • 313toBioBio

    Are they aware that the witch in chief is one also and surrounded herself with them?... Rousseff.. Hoffman.. Levy.. Mantega.. They can all be in a tel aviv condo with their right to return and managed brazil accordingly.

    May 16th, 2016 - 09:54 am 0
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