Brazilian Jews: Popular singer surrendered to anti-Semitism

Marcy Oster

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (JTA) — The Jewish community accused a popular Brazilian singer of surrendering to anti-Semitism.

Popular Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso declared he will not return to Israel due to the “oppression” of the Palestinians only a few months after performing in Tel Aviv in defiance of a strong boycott appeal from leftist groups.

“Caetano surrendered to the anti-Semitic wave and preferred to act blindly before the incitement to terrorism against Jews. Instead of not returning to Israel, he should go to the country whose music he declared to love so much and understand better what happens there,” said Fernando Lottenberg, president of Brazilian Israelite Confederation, the country’s umbrella Jewish organization.

The singer’s declaration was published under the headline: “To visit Israel to never go back to Israel,” published last weekend by Folha de S. Paulo, Brazil’s most influential daily paper. He said he reached his decision after visiting a Palestinian village in the West Bank.

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Caetano Veloso and his longtime partner Gilberto Gil refused to cancel a concert in Tel Aviv in July despite wide Brazilian and international leftist protests. Brazilian Jews and the Brazilian community in Israel both praised the singers’ attitude at the time.

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