Brazil’s Bolsonaro says Holocaust crimes can be forgiven

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro gestures during inauguration ceremony of the new Education Minister Abraham Weintraub at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil April 9, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 13 April 2019

Brazil’s Bolsonaro says Holocaust crimes can be forgiven

  • Bolsonaro has ups and downs in his relationship with Brazil’s Jewish community

RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro believes the crimes of the Holocaust can be forgiven, but shouldn’t be forgotten.
The far-right leader made the comments Thursday night at a meeting with evangelical pastors in Rio de Janeiro. He was applauded by those who attended.
“We can forgive, but we cannot forget. That quote is mine. Those who forget their past are sentenced not to have a future,” Bolsonaro said, adding that actions are needed for the Holocaust not to be repeated.
On April 2, Bolsonaro visited the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During that visit, the Brazilian leader labelled Nazism a leftist ideology, a claim rejected by historians.
More than 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust.
Bolsonaro has ups and downs in his relationship with Brazil’s Jewish community.
In 1998, as federal deputy in Brazil’s Congress, he defended students at a military school in the southern city of Porto Alegre who voted for Adolf Hitler, among other figures, as the historic character they admired the most.
“They have to choose those who knew, in one way or another, how to impose order and discipline,” Bolsonaro said at the time, adding that he did not agree with the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime.
Official figures estimate the number of Jews in the South American country in about 120,000, corresponding to 0.06% of the population.


HK media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

Updated 10 August 2020

HK media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

  • Lai has been one of the most prominent democracy activists in the Chinese-ruled city and an ardent critic of Beijing

HONG KONG: Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai has been arrested over suspected collusion with foreign forces under the new national security law, his top aide said on Twitter, in what is the highest-profile arrest yet under the legislation.
Lai has been one of the most prominent democracy activists in the Chinese-ruled city and an ardent critic of Beijing, which imposed the sweeping new law on Hong Kong on June 30, drawing condemnation from Western countries.
The new security law punishes anything China considers subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.
Critics say it crushes freedoms in the semiautonomous city, while supporters say it will bring stability after prolonged pro-democracy protests last year.
“Jimmy Lai is being arrested for collusion with foreign powers at this time,” Mark Simon, a senior executive at Lai’s media company Next Digital, which publishes local tabloid Apple Daily, said early on Monday.
Police did not immediately comment.
Lai was also arrested this year on illegal assembly charges, along with other leading activists, relating to protests last year.
In an interview with Reuters in May, Lai pledged to stay in Hong Kong and continue to fight for democracy even though he expected to be one of the targets of the new legislation.