Brazilian ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ director: Orthodox Jews spit on Christians

Cnaan Liphshiz

RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) – An acclaimed Brazilian theater director who recently put on a successful production of Fiddler on the Roof condemned some Orthodox Jews whom he said routinely spit on Christians.

Claudio Botelho levelled the accusation, which some Jews said was anti-Semitic, on Facebook last week, Alef News, a Brazilian Jewish news portal, reported.

“Spitting on someone is symbolic. It’s so old, tacky, typical of Mexican drama soap operas and also cowardly,” wrote in a reference to left-wing congressman Jean Wyllys, who made headlines for spitting on a right-wing colleague during a congress session on April 17. “Spitting is what some Orthodox and far-right Jews do against any Christian that crosses their way,” Botelho wrote.

Earlier this year, Wyllys, who is openly gay has spoken publicly against anti-Semitism and efforts to boycott Israel, was heavily criticized in left-wing circles for visiting Israel. In 2011, Botelho  and his partner Charles Moeller put on a Fiddler on the Roof show that drew nearly 150,000 spectators.

“In the midst of a strictly political discussion, calling Jews cowards and spitters on Christians is not appropriate, mainly in Brazil,” Mauro Wainstock, Alef’s editor, said.