Rio’s New Mayor to Celebrate Victory in Israel

The Times of Israel reports: RIO DE JANEIRO — The mayor-elect of Rio de Janeiro, a prominent evangelical leader, reportedly will be going to Israel to celebrate his victory.

Marcelo Crivella, who was elected Sunday, will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat next week, several Brazilian media outlets reported, citing the mayor-elect himself as the source. However, the information has not been confirmed by Israeli officials.

“Marcelo Crivella, who has been to Israel nearly 35 times, is a great friend of the Jewish community and the State of Israel,” Israel’s Rio-based honorary consul Osias Wurman, a former president of Rio’s Jewish federation, told JTA. “I hope he will strengthen a lot of the cooperation between Rio and the State of Israel, in particular in the areas of security, culture and technology.”

Brazil’s most influential weekly magazine reported Monday that the Jewish vote from one of Rio’s wealthiest neighborhoods was key in electing Crivella. The massive support could have been a reaction to Crivella’s opponent’s party members, who recently referred to the late Israeli President Shimon Peres as an “ideologue of terrorism” and, a year ago, burned the Israeli flag in public.

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