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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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  • There are no settlements, Israel’s new envoy to Brazil says in interview

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Israel’s new ambassador to Brazil, whose nomination replaced that of a former settler leader rejected by Latin America’s largest country, declared that the Jewish state does not have settlements in the West Bank. Yossi Shelley, a Likud party activist and former businessman, assumed the ambassador position in January, putting an end to…

  • Pro-Israel mayor of Rio keynotes Independence Day celebration

    Israel “has shown to the world that it is a strong democracy surrounded by the most barbarian atrocities and totalitarian regimes,” said Marcelo Crivella, a longtime friend of the Jewish community.

  • Wife of Honduran presidential candidate apologizes for praising Hitler

    (JTA) — The wife of a prominent Honduran presidential candidate wrote a letter to Latin America’s umbrella Jewish organization to apologize for praising Hitler. Iroshka Elvir, 25, who was named Miss Honduras in 2015, said “Hitler was a great leader” during an interview with El Heraldo newspaper published on April 26. She is the wife of Salvador Nasralla, 64,…

  • Mexican diplomat to be honored for challenging UNESCO on anti-Israel vote

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The Mexican diplomat who was fired from his ambassador position for walking out an anti-Israel vote by a United Nations agency will be honored by the American Sephardic Federation. Andres Roemer, who is Jewish, will be awarded the International Sephardic Leadership Award at a ceremony on May 21 at the Center for…

  • Brazilian Jews to teach about Holocaust at school that hung swastika flags in classroom

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A Jewish federation in Brazil will provide educational support to a private school in the country that had a third-grade classroom decorated with Nazi flags during a lesson on totalitarian regimes. Students and history teachers from the Santa Emilia School in Recife will visit the Kahal Zur Israel temple, the…

  • Palestinian Federation of Chile threatens country’s Jewish leadership over BDS activist

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The Palestinian Federation of Chile threatened the country’s Jewish umbrella organization over its support of Israel’s decision to bar a Chilean boycott activist from entering the Jewish state. “We warn the Jewish leadership not to play with fire,” read a statement issued Monday in Spanish by the Palestinian federation regarding its…

  • Chile should refuse entry to Israeli tourists, barred activist says

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A Chilean Palestinian official is urging his country to refuse entry to Israeli tourists after he was barred from entering the Jewish state. Anuar Majluf, executive director of the Palestinian Federation of Chile and a prominent BDS, or boycott, divestment and sanctions, movement activist, was refused entry by the government of…

  • It’s Jew vs. Jew as a conservative pol’s popularity rises in Rio

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) – A few days before they read from the Passover Haggadah about how God split the Red Sea waters, Brazilian Jews have never felt so split between right and left. At the center of the divide, although hardly in the Moses role, is Jair Bolsonaro, a 61-year-old conservative lawmaker who appears…

  • Mexico City mayor lays foundation stone of $5 million Jewish center

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — The mayor of Mexico City laid the foundation stone of a Jewish community center slated to cost nearly $5.3 million. Miguel Angel Mancera hailed the Jewish community’s decision to invest in the city as seen by its decision to build the Kehila Ashkenazi in the  Cuauhtemoc borough. The official considers…

  • Venezuela expresses ‘desire’ to re-establish diplomatic ties with Israel

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) – Venezuela’s foreign minister expressed to his country’s chief rabbi “the desire to establish full relations with the State of Israel” eight years after the South American nation expelled its Israeli ambassador. “We suggested to start with a period of courtship, which means a beginning through consular relations, so that later…