Rio Jews, evangelicals rally for peace in Israel


RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (JTA) — Some 1,500 Jews and supporters of the Jewish community rallied along the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro for peace in Israel and against terrorism.

At the sixth pro-Israel rally in Brazil this month, participants carrying blue-and-white Israeli flags and signs, and wearing Israel T-shirts covered three lanes of the elegant seaside avenue on Sunday. The demonstration featured the repeated singing of the Israeli and Brazilian national anthems and speeches against terror. To close the event, participants danced to Israeli folk songs in a large circle.

Sen. Marcelo Crivella, a prominent Evangelical leader, was a special guest. He had called during a major TV show for “all friends of Israel” to attend.

For Paulo Maltz, president of the Rio Jewish Federation, the ecumenical event was unprecedented in Brazil.

“Jews, Christians and members of all faiths are here together to protest all forms of terror and claim with a united voice that no more innocent should die,” he declared.

Earlier this month, pro-Israel rallies took place in Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre, Belem, Natal and Fortaleza.

“The Jewish community and the friends of Israel in Rio traditionally express publicly their support to the Israeli people in their daily fight for peace and against terror,” Israel’s honorary consul, Osias Wurman, told JTA.

Rio is home to some 40,000 Jews, or one-third of the country’s Jewish community of 120,000.

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