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Bomb Threat Halts Only Jewish Radio Program in Rio

A bomb threat to a radio station forced the suspension of “A Voz Israelita”, the only daily Jewish radio program in Rio de Janeiro which has been carried by Radio Copacabana for the past 17 years.

The warning, by an anonymous telephone call to the station manager, threatened that a bomb would be exploded at the station if the Jewish program “or any other program promoting Jews” was continued. The caller warned that “No Jewish programs should be transmitted over Brazil’s radio stations.” “A Voz Israelita” was established 26 years ago. Its founder and director is David Markus, editor of Rio’s only Yiddish newspaper, “Yiddishe Presse” and Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent in Brazil.

Some circles here believe the threat was associated with terrorist activities by an extreme rightwing group aimed at creating an atmosphere of unrest in the country to obstruct the process of democratization initiated by President Joao Baptista Figeiredo. But others do not exclude the possibility that the bomb threat came from the Palestine Liberation Organization which has been the target of attacks on “A Voz Israelita.”

PLO HAND SEEN

According to Dr. Marx Golgher, a member of the human rights committee of B’nai B’rith in Belo Horizonte, capital of the state of Minas Gerais, there is no doubt that PLO agents are behind the threats to the radio station as they are behind all other terrorist acts in Brazil.

The bomb warning was the latest in a series of telephone threats made to Jewish clubs, schools and synagogues all over Brazil. Dr. Isaac Nuzman, president of the Jewish Federation, the representative body of Rio’s Jewish community, insisted that no threats would succeed in halting the activities of the community. He said the Federation is taking measures to re-establish the “A Voz Israelita” broadcasts. A similar statement was made to the press by Prof. Jose Meiches, of Sao Paulo, president of the Jewish Confederation, the representative body of Brazilian Jewry.

“A Voz Israelita” which claims to have tens of thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish listeners, broadcasts programs dealing with local Jewish communal life, Israel and other matters of Jewish concern. It presents Hebrew and Yiddish music and news bulletins.

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