Op-Ed: Antisemitism’s ‘imaginary Jew’ is the target in Brazil’s pro-Bolsonaro, neo-Nazi demonstrations Read more
Amid the rising tide of anti-semitism, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is now the target of a new wave of harassment, abuse and death threats by a new group called “For the Republic”, and its followers.
The group, which has been described as neo-Nazis by the Washington Post, has been accused of promoting racial hatred and attacking Jews on social media. The group’s leader, Marco Antônio de Oliveira, is said to have boasted of plans to hold another demonstration on the country’s streets on Tuesday, and to have threatened to kill Jews. The president has spoken out against the “violent” threats of the group, tweeting in support of the police.
It has been claimed that a number of people have been killed and injured in recent days in Brazil on the left and centre as a result of the violent threats made by the group. The president has also been subject to death threats, and has been warned that anyone who supports him will be subject to serious violence.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Bolsonaro is the target of a new wave of threats from an anonymous far-right group, which has compared his presidency to Hitler’s. Photograph: Ricardo Borges/Reuters
Brazil has had a long history of anti-semitic violence. The Brazilian Association of Brazilian Jews, founded in 1928, said: “After anti-Semitic crimes came the systematic murder of Jewish men and women of Jewish faith.” After World War II, most of the remaining Jews of Brazil were forced to flee the country.
In the 1950s, the communist-aligned Red Brigades claimed responsibility for a series of bombings – known as “brigadistas” – against Jewish businesses, leaving around 70 dead. Many were driven from Brazil – many still live there – and many others died in Soviet-run camps while being sent to the communist East European countries.
Since the end of the country’s military dictatorship in 1985, there is some evidence of a reduction in anti-semitic activity in Brazil, though still some pockets of anti-semitism remain