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February 8, 2019     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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February 8, 2019

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 8, 2019 i PAGE 7A By Marcus M. Cilban zilianarmy, theyareiodgedat Brazil's 120,000-strong a military base, where Katri's Jewish community is also RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA)-- synagoguehasbeenproviding mobilizing to gather dona- Less than one month after kosherfood, religious services tions for victims of the dam Benjamin Netanyahu gained and more. breach and to help the Israeli pop star status across Brazil "I offered that Israel would workers. for blendinginwiththe locals dispatch aid to the disaster Rabbi Uri Lam, who has during the very first visit of a site and assist in the search justendedhis nearly four-year sitting Israeli prime minister, for survivors. We agreed that term as spiritual leader of the Israel is making headlines in an Israeli missionwouldleave CongregacaoIsraelitaMineira thelandofsambaonceagain, within 24 hours," Netan- synagogueinBeloHorizonte, A 130-strong Israeli mili- yahu tweeted after talking feelsapersonal connection to tary and search-and-rescue to Brazil's new President Jair the disaster.Theinnwherehe team landed here on Sunday Bolsonaro on Saturday. used to stay with his family in and has beenworking against Netanyahuattended Bolso- Brumadinho has been buried the clock to find survivors of naro's inauguration on Jan. 1, by the mud. Owners, guests a dam collapse last Friday when the ardently pro-Israel andemployeesareallmissing. around a mining operation Christian politician reiter- "Jewish communities in a rural area of the Minas ated his promise to move the across Brazil are mobilizing Gerais state. Brazilian embassy from Tel to donate whatever is needed. The humanitarian delega- Aviv to Jerusalem soon. Last The presence of the Israeli tion has earned wide praise, Saturday, he highlighted the forces also fills the Brazil- butalsocriticism from critics Israeli humanitarian aid to ian Jewish community with of Israel who say it represents the media and through social pride. We know that in any a diversion from its conflict media channels, part of the world where there with the Palestinians. "By phone the 1st Minister are major disasters, whether "It's amazing how people of Israel, @netanyahu offered in countries with or without in the streets are sympa- us help to search for missing diplomatic relations with Is- thetic, asking for seifies with people in the Brumadinho. rael, Israeliswillmostlyalways us. They are grateful for the We welcome and appreciate be the first to offer help," the Israeli army and the Jewish this Israeli technology at the SaoPaulo-bornrabbitoldJTA. people," Rabbi Nissim Katri, service of humanity," Bolso- TheJewishfederationofRio of the Chabad House in Belo naro tweeted. Grande do Sul, Brazil's south- Horizonte, told JTA. "They Mud and mining waste has ernmost state that borders seemamazedwiththistypeof buried everything for miles Uruguay and Argentina, has solidarity that is not so corn- around the iron ore mine. The sent its security manager and mon in our modern world." number of missing is rising crisis and disaster manage- The dam collapse that left fast and chances of finding ment expert Ezequiel Gotlib, 65peopleconfirmeddeadand survivorsarelowanddecreas- who is now supporting the nearly300 missingtookplace ing by the hour. In addition to Israeli delegation. not far from the city. the dam used to store mining "Israel's action is of great The Israeli mission includes byproducts that burst on value and shows that the ties soldiers and reserve officers, Friday, a second water dam is between both countries are among them engineering said to be at risk of breaking, increasingly strengthened. specialists, doctorsandrescue makingtherescueworkevenWe hope Gotlib's expertise pe nel.Hostedbythe Bra- more tense, will be useful in helping to Israelis working at the site of a dam collapse at a mining operation in a rural area of the Minas Gerais state of Brazil. locate all the victims who are in the Brazilian press that said lighted that five bodies were still missing," the federation's the Israeli rescue equipment found in a matter of hours. president Sebastian Waten- would not be helpful. "Israel has all the neces- berg told JTA. "The cooperation with sary equipment to save lives, The humanitarian mission Israel has been extremely including plunging into the could not, however, deflect effective," he said, adding mud. This news out today is criticism of Israel and a Bra- that Israeli equipment will fake news," the diplomat told zilian government that has be useful for finding people Folha de S.Paulo newspaper. sought to reverse strained iocateddeeperinthemudand "We will leave aside the ties with the Jewish state, need only minor adaptations people who want to fight, we Lieutenant Pedro Aihara, to move about, will do the work that needs to from the Minas Gerais Fire Israeli ambassador Yossi be done and the results will Department, spoke up on Shelley blamed the negative Mondayto deny recentarticles press on "jealousy" and high- Brazil on page 15A