Buenos Aires, Argentina
Antisemitism is not a determining factor in the contemporary history of Jews in Brazil. Apart from the activism of Gustavo Barroso and Integralismo in the 1930s, antisemitism in Brazil has never been an organized movement. Even during those years Jews living in Brazil suffered neither discrimination nor violent persecution, except for a political campaign by a specific party and official antisemitism that was oriented toward restriction of immigration. In contemporary Brazilian history, antiemitism has always been ephemeral and isolated and the majority of incidents have been limited to occasional slogans on the walls of Jewish institutions and public statements or antisemitic articles in the press or more recently on the internet, which has been used the world over as a means of racist and antisemitic propaganda.
In the 1990s a new Nazi publishing house, Revisão, published antisemitic books, such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, The International Jew (Henry Ford), Brasil, colônia de banqueiros written by Gustavo Barroso in the 1930s, and Holocaust denial books, such as Holocausto judeu ou alemão? Nos bastidores da mentira do século, writted by S.E. Castan. The books were well publicized and had considerable repercussions. In 1989, an alliance of Jews, Afro-Brazilians, and other sectors organized a movement (Movimento Popular Anti-Racismo – MOPAR) in Porto Alegre, to fight the antisemitic editor and his books. The Revisão publishing house took part in events and book fairs in several state capitals, which provoked much debate between those who defended absolute freedom and those who attacked the distorted, racist content of these books. In 2004, the editor S.E. Castan was convicted of racism and antisemitism by the Supreme Federal Court, the highest court in the country, establishing an important precedent in this type of case.
Anti-Zionism is an important ideological component in left-wing parties and movements in the country, mainly since the 1970s, but not always has such anti-Zionism been distinctly associated with antisemitism.
Despite the fact that antisemitism was sporadic and isolated for almost four centuries, Brazil was a Portuguese colony in which the Catholic Church and the activities of the Inquisition in the country had a decisive influence until the end of the 18th century. This left a mark on the culture, mentality and popular imagination of Brazilians, diffusing elements of a medieval anti-Judaism that associate the Jews with the crime of deicide, usury, and greed. There are many pejorative examples in the popular language, such as "judiar," meaning "to mis-treat," as well "Judeu," meaning miserly and tightfisted. Such imagery does not induce concrete action, also because over 90% of the Jews reside in large urban centers, where this imagery has even less of an impact.
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