Rio Jewish Federation Sues Brazilian News Outlet for Blaming President's Ouster on Jews

Article in Vermelho alleged that Israel is through its proxies in charge of what he considers the country's three most important sectors — defense, intelligence and central bank — and was involved in her suspension.

Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff makes a statement next to her mother Dilma Jane Coimbra(R) at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia on May 12, 2016.
Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff makes a statement next to her mother Dilma Jane Coimbra(R) at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia on May 12, 2016. Evaristo Sa, AFP

The Rio Jewish federation filed a criminal suit against a far-left news service for publishing an anti-Semitic article blaming Jews for the suspension of President Dilma Rousseff last month.

The article in Vermelho alleged that Israel is through its proxies in charge of what he considers the country’s three most important sectors — defense, intelligence and central bank — and was involved in her suspension.

Brazil’s Senate voted in May to impeach Rousseff for allegations that she illegally manipulated fiscal accounts.

“We won’t allow that isolated people or political parties or media outlets that distribute paid or non-paid news to denigrate the image of the Jewish people,” said Paulo Maltz, the Rio Jewish federation’s president. The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday.

The article — titled “The fingers of Israel and the United States in the coup” — claimed to list Jews who would lead various government areas, describing them as “Israel’s Zionists.” However, two of the figures named in the article are Christian. Only Ilan Goldfajn, the third official named in the article, is Jewish. Tapped by newly appointed president Michel Temer, Israeli-born Goldfajn is the new head of Brazil’s Central Bank.

Vermelho calls itself a non-profit news portal in partnership with the Communist Party of Brazil, known as PCdoB. The article has also drawn harsh reaction from non-Jewish groups.

After the O Globo newspaper’s columnist Anselmo Gois wrote of the article that “It looks like racism, and it is,” the article was removed from the Vermelho news portal. However, Jewish newspaper Alef News distributed the original text to thousands of readers, with commentary.

The Vermelho article also said that Israel would have a strong influence in all major ministries, as well as the election of members of Congress in the United States, and is exerting a growing influence in Latin American politics.

“For those who thought that the Palestinian fight was a distant conflict in the Middle East, it has now knocked on the doors of our government,” read the article.