Brazilian Jews file lawsuit over 'antisemitic' swastika cartoon of Netanyahu

The image depicts the Israeli PM embracing new President Jair Bolsonaro


Brazilian Jews have filed a lawsuit against a popular cartoonist whose drawing featured Benjamin Netanyahu and Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, in an embrace with their arms resembling a swastika.

The Rio Jewish federation are suing the cartoonist, known as Aroeira, after the drawing was published by O Dia newspaper.

Federation president Arnon Velmovitsky said the cartoon was antisemitic.

He told weekly television show Comunidade na TV:  “Art can never be used to offend the memory of millions of people who died in World War II. The issue will be viewed with severity.

“We can’t tolerate the offence to Jews and other minorities.”

The lawsuit has made headlines elsewhere in the Brazilian media and the cartoon was widely circulated on social media.

Rio’s largest newspaper O Globo highlighted the fact that the Jewish federation’s legal department is led by Rodrigo Fux, who is son of Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Luis Fux.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended Mr Bolsonaro’s inauguration on January 1 in Brasilia, becoming the first sitting Israeli prime minister to visit Latin America’s largest nation.

They called each other brothers and promised a new era of friendly ties between both countries.

He also invited Mr Bolsonaro, who reiterated his commitment to transfer the Brazilian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, to visit the Jewish state soon.

The new president’s election is seen as marking a hard-right shift for the country following years of left-wing governments.

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