Jair Bolsonaro, the newly elected president of Brazil -- his four-year term starts in January 2019 -- is a Catholic married to an evangelical Christian and he is a strong supporter of Israel.
During his victory speech on Oct. 28, broadcast from his home, there was a Jewish menora in the background. Bolsonaro's middle name, Messias, is the Arabic word for messiah.
Bolsonaro once declared, "My heart is green, yellow, blue and white," a reference to the colors of the Brazilian flag and the Israeli flag, reported the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA).
Bolsonaro "has declared he will move the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv," said the JTA. "His first international trip as president, he said, will be to Israel, with which he will seek to broaden the dialogue. And he promised to close the Palestinian embassy in Brasilia."
“Is Palestine a country?" said Bolsonaro several weeks ago. "Palestine is not a country, so there should be no embassy here. You do not negotiate with terrorists.”
Osias Wurman, Israel's honorary consul in Rio de Janeiro, told JTA: “Bolsonaro stood out among the many candidates for including the State of Israel in the major speeches he made during the campaign. He is a lover of the people and the State of Israel.”
After an assassination attempt in early September, Bolsonaro declined to be treated at the prestigious Syrian-Lebanese Hospital and was instead taken to the Jewish-led Albert Einstein Hospital. According to the JTA, three of Bolsonaro's sons have been "photographed wearing T-shirts with messages in Hebrew." Bolsonaro has four sons and one daughter.
According to Haaretz, Bolsonaro spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Oct. 29, who told him, "I am confident that your election will lead to a great friendship between the two peoples and to the strengthening of ties between Brazil and Israel. We await your visit to Israel."
As for the Brazil, Bolsonaro has said, "God above everything. There is no such thing as this secular state. The state is Christian and the minority will have to change, if they can. The minorities will have to adapt to the position of the majority."
He has also said, "Brazil before everything, and God above all."
Jair Bolsonaro is a former military officer and he has served in Brazil's Chamber of Deputies since 1991. Bolsonaro's politics in general are those of a traditional, right-wing conservative.
He does not consider himself "far right" but simply "right wing," according to Estado.com. He is pro-life, pro-family, and he opposes gay marriage, homosexuality, affirmative action and secularism.