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Marcus M. Gilban RSS

is JTA's correspondent in Rio de Janeiro. A freelance journalist and columnist, he contributes to Brazilian Jewish newspapers, magazines and news portals.

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  • Leftist Jewish youth groups in Rio boycott Israeli folk dance festival

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Three leftist Jewish youth movements have refused to attend Brazil’s longest running Israeli dance festival in retaliation for a lecture given by a right-wing politician at a mainstream Jewish center five months ago. Chazit Hanoar, Habonim Dror and Hashomer Hatzair say their unprecedented boycott of the 47th annual Hava Netze Bemachol…

  • Swastika spray-painted on statue of Brazil’s iconic first black clown

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A statue honoring Brazil’s first black clown was vandalized with a swastika at a public park. Police have no suspects in the vandalism this week of the statue of Benjamin de Oliveira in the countryside city of Para de Minas. Known as the most famous clown in Brazil in the…

  • Paintings featuring swastikas removed from Rio cultural center exhibit

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Three paintings featuring swastikas were removed from an exhibit at one of Rio’s most traditional cultural centers. Having paintings with swastikas in them “became even more serious because public school students pay regular visits to the venue,” said Herry Rosenberg, president of the Rio Jewish Federation. “We reiterate our commitment…

  • Netanyahu plans to become first sitting Israeli prime minister to visit Latin America

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Benjamin Netanyahu is planning trips to Argentina and Mexico in September that would make him the first sitting Israeli prime minister to visit Latin America. Netanyahu is scheduled to visit the region before flying directly to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 19, according to The…

  • Brazilian Jewish organization apologizes for anti-Palestinian post on social media

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The Rio Jewish federation apologized for a Facebook post that called on the Jewish community to root against a Chilean soccer team founded by Palestinians ahead of its match against Brazil’s most popular team. The federation’s official Facebook profile, which has nearly 30,000 followers, on Wednesday displayed the flags of the…

  • Brazil to extradite Israeli settler convicted of killing Palestinian in 2004

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A German-Israeli settler who fled to Brazil after killing a Palestinian will be extradited to serve his sentence in the Jewish state. Brazil’s Supreme Court decided unanimously on Wednesday to accede to an Israeli request to extradite Yehoshua Elitzur back to Israel to serve a prison sentence for killing Palestinian…

  • Brazilian Jewish pol honors Muslim refugee assaulted with xenophobic slurs

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A Syrian Muslim refugee who was beaten and told to leave Brazil by his attackers was honored by a Jewish councilman at Rio’s City Hall. Marcelo Arar proposed the tribute to Mohamed Ali Abdelmoatty Ilenavvy, who was attacked while selling food at a street stand in July. Video of the…

  • Israel’s drip irrigation giant sold to Mexican company for $1.5 billion

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A Mexican industrial group will acquire control of the Israeli drip irrigation giant Netafim for $1.5 billion. Mexichem has agreed to buy an 80 percent stake in Netafim, the world’s largest drip irrigation company, in a deal valuing the company at $1.895 billion. It will acquire a 61 percent stake owned…

  • 26 Venezuelan Jews flee social chaos, immigrate to Israel

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Twenty-six Jews from Venezuela immigrated to Israel, fleeing the South American country’s political, social and economic unrest. After several years of discontent with the far-left government under President Nicolas Maduro and his late predecessor and political godfather Hugo Chavez, Venezuela has been racked by protests that began in April against…

  • Chilean president meets Jewish officials over hatred and discrimination law

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Jewish officials have met Chile’s president to request her commitment to approve a new bill to protect citizens from acts motivated by hatred and discrimination. “We have worked with different bodies, as a community, proving that there is a political, parliamentary and social consensus to adopt a regulatory framework of…