Wilson Witzel was inaugurated as governor of Brazil’s capital to the sound of the shofar (ram’s horn) blown by a rabbi. Witzel was elected in October to a four-year term as the 63rd and current Governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro. A member of the Social Christian Party, Witzel is a former federal judge and an ex-marine. He is strongly aligned with the newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro who is a strong supporter of Israel.
Witzel’s victory was a nearly miraculous come-from-behind campaign with initial polling showing him with one percent of the electorate.
“One of the most touching moments during my campaign was when I heard the shofar at the Beit Lubavitch synagogue. It gave me the strength I needed to carry on,” Witzel told reporters.
“[The shofar] represent(s) the call for freedom, to bring good vibes and positive energies to the new government,” organizers of the inauguration told the media.
Recebi o primeiro ministro de Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu e o acompanhei em uma visita ao Pão de Açúcar. Comigo estiveram ainda meu vice, Cláudio Castro e os futuros secretários de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Geração de Renda, Lucas Tristão e de Turismo, Otávio Leite. pic.twitter.com/5Ieqn1nBP2
— Wilson Witzel (@wilsonwitzel) December 30, 2018
Netanyahu’s visit was the first by a sitting Israeli prime minister to Brazil.