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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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  • Brazil’s president attends Holocaust remembrance service at country’s largest synagogue

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — President Michel Temer of Brazil attended a service at the country’s largest synagogue to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The president was invited during Sunday’s service at the Congregacao Israelita Paulista synagogue in Sao Paulo to light one of six candles in honor of the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The…

  • Brazil approves Israel’s new ambassador after yearlong diplomatic row

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Brazil said it will accept Israel’s choice for ambassador to the country, ending a diplomatic standoff between the two nations. The announcement of Yossi Sheli made Tuesday had been expected since Brazil’s centrist president, Michel Temer, was sworn in amid the impeachment process of leftist Dilma Rousseff, whose Worker’s Party had an openly…

  • Mexican Jews launch 24-hour hotline to tackle life-threatening situations

      RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Mexican Jews have launched a 24-hour emergency hotline for callers seeking support in cases of attempted suicide, domestic violence and other emergencies. The 1118 line launched last week, the Enlace Judio news website reported Monday. “1118 means ‘One for one, one for life,’” Salomon Cherem, president of the Maguen…

  • Israel thanks Jamaica for skipping controversial UNESCO anti-Israel vote

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked his Jamaican counterpart for his country’s refusal to participate in the UNESCO vote that ignored Jewish ties to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. “Our relations are always friendly. We appreciate the fact that you didn’t join the recent vote against Israel, the absurd vote…

  • Chilean neo-Nazis attack Jewish gay youth with razor

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A young Jewish and gay activist was attacked at a park in Santiago, Chile by three men who carried neo-Nazi symbols. Jorge Arce was walking Thursday at the Bustamante park wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the flag of Israel that his mother had given him recently. The attackers yelled “murderer”…

  • Israeli grandmother drowns while tubing on Guatemalan river

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A 60-year-old Israeli woman drowned at a popular tourist area in Guatemala in a river tubing accident with a women-only expedition. Hadas Ayash, from the northern town of Tivon, died Tuesday in the Cahabon River near Semuc Champey, a natural bridge and major tourist attraction in the Lanquín region, the…

  • Brazilian neo-Nazis with combat experience recruited to fight Ukrainian civil war

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Brazilian police have unveiled a plot led by a Ukrainian armed movement to recruit Brazilian neo-Nazis with combat experience to fight pro-Russian rebels in the European country’s civil war. A series of raids took place last month in seven cities on the homes of neo-Nazis in order to prevent possible…

  • 4 skinheads arrested in Brazil for alleged plan to attack other neo-Nazis, Jews

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Four skinheads who reportedly were planning an attack on a group also carrying anti-Jewish neo-Nazi propaganda were arrested at a bustling Sao Paulo subway station. The skinheads, who were carrying knives and axes as well as the Nazi propaganda, were arrested Wednesday in Anhangabau.  They were about to perpetrate an attack on…

  • New Venezuelan vice president accused of anti-Semitism, ties to Iran and Hezbollah

    (JTA) — A former government minister in Venezuela who has been accused of anti-Semitism and ties to Iran and the terrorist group Hezbollah was tapped as the South American country’s vice president. The appointment of Tareck El Aissami by President Nicolas Maduro was announced last week, according to reports, including the Miami Herald. El Aissami, reportedly a…

  • Israel denies immigration of 9 Venezuelan Jewish converts

    RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A cohort of nine Venezuelan Jewish converts had their request to make aliyah denied by Israel’s Interior Ministry, which claimed their engagement in Jewish communal life has not been sufficient. The applicants, all indigenous Venezuelans who belong to three families, converted to Judaism in 2014 under the auspices of a…