If only one remained, it would be him. At 80, Ruy Flaks Schneider is inexhaustible when it comes to singing the praises of the Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, yet in free fall in the polls. “He is a sympathetic man, who put an end to the corrupt government of the left, and who is suffering an infamous smear campaign,” explains this Carioca, dressed to the nines, mustache, three-piece suit and golden cufflinks.
President of the great Israelite temple of Rio, “Ruy” watches over the largest and most beautiful synagogue in the city, a neo-Moorish building, all of domes and turrets, installed in the city center. He reminds anyone who wants to hear it: “ We Brazilian Jews have never known a better time. Bolsonaro loves us. He is a natural friend of Israel and identifies with this country. ”
End of the “honeymoon” with the Jewish community
But behind the insurance there is a concern. At issue: a controversy, which has just shaken the community. On July 22, Bolsonaro received in Brasilia, all smiles, the visit of the German deputy Beatrix von Storch. At 50, the elected is not only vice-president of the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) but also and above all the granddaughter of Johann Ludwig von Krosigk (1887-1977), Minister of Finance of ‘Adolf Hitler.
The event immediately triggered a stir. “ Bolsonarism no longer hides its sympathies “, tweeted the left-wing organization Jews for Democracytorpedoing an AfD “ with roots linked to Nazism and openly xenophobic “. She was joined by those in charge of the Holocaust Museum and by the Israelite Confederation of Brazil (Conib). “ This visit is of great concern to us, explains Cláudio Lottenberg, the president of this confederation. It refers to the darkest moments in our history. ”
The episode came to end a form of “honeymoon” between Jair Bolsonaro and the Jewish community. The President of Brazil has long been a distraught admirer of Israel, praising its patriotism and “ valorization of the armed forces “. He skillfully portrayed his relationship with his “great friend” Benyamin Netanyahu, the former head of government of the Hebrew state.
Nicknamed the “Hitler of Brasilia”
Not a demonstration in favor of Jair Bolsonaro where does not arise a slew of flags bearing the Star of David. “ Brazil will never abandon Israel and the Jews “, Bolsonaro repeated in June. Diverse, from Hispano-Portuguese, Dutch, Ashkenazi or Sephardic immigration, the Brazilian Jewish community is not an important electoral force: it has only 120,000 members, or barely 0.06% of the population.
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