Monday, 05 November 2018

Brazil’s New President: Christian, Pro-Life, Pro-Israel

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Brazil’s new president elect is a strong Catholic Christian who has vowed to move his country away from the leftist policies that have guided Brazil’s government over the last decades. In the October 28 election, Jair Bolsonaro (shown), a seven-term conservative Brazilian congressman, defeated leftist candidate Fernando Haddad, whose Workers’ Party had won Brazil’s last four presidential elections, but which had been mired in corruption scandals that led to the impeachment and removal from office of President Dilma Rousseff in 2016.

In his victory speech, Bolsonaro promised to reverse Brazil’s slide into socialism and government corruption. “We cannot continue flirting with socialism, communism, populism, and leftist extremism,” he told supporters after the election. “We are going to change the destiny of Brazil.”

After his victory, Bolsonaro boldly declared his intention to govern using Christian values. “God above everything,” he said. “There is no such thing as a secular state. The state is Christian and the minority will have to change, if they can. The minorities will have to adapt to the position of the majority.”

The 63-year-old Bolsonaro, whose wife is an evangelical Christian, vowed to take a strong stand for traditional family values, and to defend the unborn against abortion. As reported by, Bolsonaro had earlier signed a pledge “vowing to keep abortion illegal. He also holds that marriage is between a man and a woman. Bolsonaro’s promise also includes opposing sex-ed material that promotes acceptance of homosexuality in schools and any efforts to decriminalize drug use.”

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Bolsonaro was quoted as saying that “we are signing a commitment defending the family, defending the innocence of children in the schools, defending the freedom of religion, against abortion and the legalization of drugs.”

While abortion is illegal in Brazil except in cases of rape, when a mother’s health is in danger, or when the baby’s brain is deformed, Haddad and the leftist Workers’ Party had run on a platform that promised to seek the legalization of abortion as a “right” for women.

Additionally, Bolsonaro has vowed to follow the lead of U.S. President Trump and move Brazil’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. In a Facebook post after the election, Bolsonaro wrote: “As previously stated during our campaign, we intend to transfer the Brazilian Embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. Israel is a sovereign state and we shall duly respect that.”

With that promised move, Brazil will become the third nation to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, following the United States and Guatemala.

Osias Wurman, Israel’s honorary consul in Rio de Janeiro, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA): “Bolsonaro stood out among the many candidates [in support of] the State of Israel in the major speeches he made during the campaign. He is a lover of the people and the state of Israel.”

JTA reported that on September 6, “Bolsonaro was stabbed and seriously injured during a street rally while campaigning. After receiving local emergency treatment, Bolsonaro chose to be transferred to a Jewish hospital in São Paulo to recover from life-threatening injuries,” rather than being treated at the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital, “an elite hospital commonly chosen by senior politicians.”

JTA reported that many of Bolsonaro’s followers had worried that his life would be in danger at that hospital, where a majority of the doctors are Arab and Muslim.

Israel’s newspaper Haaretz reported that following Bolsonaro’s victory, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with the Brazilian president-elect, telling him, “I am confident that your election will lead to a great friendship between the two peoples and to the strengthening of ties between Brazil and Israel. We await your visit to Israel.” 

In a Twitter post, Trump congratulated Bolsonaro on his victory and pledged to work with his new government. “Had a very good conversation with the newly elected President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, who won his race by a substantial margin,” tweeted Trump. “We agreed that Brazil and the United States will work closely together on Trade, Military and everything else!”

Photo: AP Images

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