Arab Brazilians count on Lula to heal divisions, forge closer ties with Middle East nations
F On Oct. 30, Brazilians elected the former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the wake of an intensely polarized campaign to defeat current President Jair Bolsonaro.
The skewness of Brazil’s South American country was reflected in the results: Lula received 50.9 per cent of the votes, while Bolsonaro was able to secure 49.1 per cent.
It is evident, for instance, at Foz do Iguacu, a city that lies between Paraguay and Argentina, where a large number of Brazilians from the Arab world live.
In August, a portion of the community planned an evening with Lula However, once the invitation was made public via social networks, Arab supporters of Bolsonaro started to protest. The dinner was ultimately postponed.
This kind of debate is not unusual in Brazil’s political climate in the last several months. And has been the same for that the Arab community, as analysts point out.
The first point to be considered is the fact that the community is not an influence group that is organized, according to Tuffy Kairuz, who is a researcher with a PhD in historical research at York University in Canada.
In the same way, he stated that in the group of Brazilian Arabs, there are many academics, artists and intellectuals — who tend to support Lula.
Mamede Jarouche, the son of Lebanese immigrants and a professor of Arab literature at the University of Sao Paulo, stated that a significant portion of the Arab community is fully integrated into Brazilian society, and therefore Arab culture does not have any significance in the process, of voting.
Following the election for president in 2018, Bolsonaro pledged to relocate the Brazilian Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
He was overwhelmingly supported by the community of Brazilians-Israelis, and the idea of an Embassy move was discussed by it.
Brazil is the world’s biggest exporter of halal-certified meat and poultry. Agribusiness, which has been a major supporter of Bolsonaro, was also a major force in influencing him not to relocate the Embassy in Jerusalem, Taha added, “but should he have another four years, maybe Bolsonaro would decide to move it.”
Bolsonaro’s pro-Israeli speech, which angered some Brazilian Arabs, was amplified by his religious allies.
The couple’s wife, Michelle, is an active member of a Baptist church. She is typically seen sporting those colours that are worn by the Israeli flag. On October. 30, Michelle was photographed voting in a T-shirt sporting the Israeli flag.
On November. 1, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent an email to Lula in which Lula “expressed sincere congratulations to the newly elected president, wishing Lula every success, and wishing the friendly and hospitable people of Brazil constant growth as well as prosperity.”