Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Brazilian Official Compares Villification of Ex-President to Nazi Treatment of Jews

An influential Brazilian ex-governor and government minister compared the media treatment of ex-President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva to that of the Nazis against Jews and other minorities during the Holocaust.

“The media makes Lula the Jew of the decade, like the Nazis made Jews and communists the target of their hatred against social democracy,” Tarso Genro, former governor of Brazil’s southernmost state Rio Grande do Sul, tweeted Sunday.

Lula, a leftist, is accused being part of Brazil’s biggest political and corruption scandal. President Dilma Rousseff, his political protege, is facing an impeachment process that could put an end to the 12-year rule of their Workers Party.

Genro, also of the Workers Party, has served as governor of Rio Grande do Sul and mayor of Porto Alegre, as well as the minister of education and Justice. His late mother was born Jewish, though Genro does not recognize himself as such. Years ago, a photo of Genro putting on tefillin aided by Orthodox rabbis was widely publicized.

The ex-governor has a history of anti-Israel moves and pro-Palestinian friendliness, as well as referring to the Nazi regime to establish comparisons. In August, in another mention of Lula, Genro said security guards around a popular giant hot air puppet depicting the ex-president in a striped uniform reminded him of Nazi guards.

In 2014, his state’s largest synagogue – the Reform temple SIBRA – made a public announcement declaring Genro persona non grata for his “disdain and total lack of consideration of our community.”

Rio Grande do Sul state is home to some 12,000 Jews, making it Brazil’s third largest Jewish community after Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The state also hosts a large number of descendants of German immigrants and neo-Nazi incidents are not uncommon.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.