Day of Shame commemorated in Oporto for the second year in a row

Day of Shame commemorated in Oporto for the second year in a row

This Monday, March 11, 2024, for the second time ever the Jewish Community of Oporto marked the “Day of Shame” by lighting the candles of a menorah in front of the Kadoorie Mekor Haim Synagogue. Two years ago, a small group of people, unaware of history, organized themselves to destroy the most significant Jewish entities in the country and even trampled on the Kadoorie synagogue. The history of Portugal will forever record a shameful case of State corruption and journalistic corruption.

On March 11, 2022, a week before publication of a Government decree which repealed the Sephardic Law of Return, two weeks before the dismissal of the chairman of SIRESP – the Integrated System for Portugal's Security and Emergency Networks, and three weeks before the computers in her house were stolen, some authorities from Lisbon that were used for political purposes ordered illegal searches and seizures at the largest synagogue of the Iberian Peninsula, at the Jewish Museum of Oporto and at the homes of leaders of the Jewish community of Oporto.

They knew they were committing a serious attack on the Portuguese law which requires evidence of crimes with some objectivity in terms of empirical data, a minimum requirements of truth, some probationary backing, some verisimilitude and also a description of the facts which, although only under the form of suspicion, could be taken as enough to serve as the basis for filling in the legal requirements of the criminal types imputed. The "indictments" presented by those Lisbon authorities against the Community were generalizations anchored in the ancient myths of money, tricks and the sale of the country. They were looking for suitcases filled with cash and misappropriation of funds, all “based on nothing”, as the Court of Appeal would later rule on September 28, 2022. The process was a disgrace. It was based on anonymous reports from disreputable characters, fake news, newspaper clippings, and emotions. No documents, no surveillance reports, no wiretaps, and no witnesses were produced. It was only the wishes of some weak Lisbon elites and nothing more than that.

On that day, the desire of the police and prosecutors was so great to find documents about the owner of Altice (whose Portuguese origin had been certified properly by another Jewish community), that they forgot about the case of a Russian citizen that the newspapers had talked about endlessly. The police report stated that this last dossier would be taken, but at the last minute it was forgotten on the table. This happened in Portugal in the 21st century.

The Community states there was a case of serious State corruption, with total abuse of institutions and a mixture of political, judicial and media powers. For more than a year, a handful of journalists from the bottom of the profession defined the march and path of the "procession of justice", publishing false or distorted information about the Community and its members, omitting a large number of inconvenient truths from the “theory” they wished to foist on the public, and being totally obsequious regarding the “anonymous sources” they used, knowing well that the law did not allow them to support the dirty game of such sources (convicts and politicians) who had illicit interests at stake.

Those who promoted the fake news and the illegal searches and seizures knew that they would become public knowledge and would provoke hatred and discrimination against the Jewish Community of Oporto for a long time. That's exactly what happened. There were lists of Jewish businessmen published in the newspapers, posters at demonstrations for better housing railing against “murderous Zionist landlords”. The synagogue was vandalized, and thousands of hate messages were sent. The wording of the messages included: “Mafia organisation”, "corruption", "gang of sell-outs", "they’re into schemes", "these people were never trustworthy", "history speaks for itself", "even religion", "an Israeli would rather lose a friend than one euro", "Weren’t the Jews always like that?", "chased away from everywhere", “the Rabbi is corrupt”, "it stretches from the Rabbi to the owners of Chelsea and Altice", "they are what they’ve always been, criminals", "even the creation of Israel is based on the same imaginary assumption that they are entitled to the land”, "Israel has carte blanche to do what it wants in Palestine", "it’s always confused me that a Portuguese community should adopt as its name that of a foreign, Israeli community".

The Portuguese State acted like it did in the times of the Inquisition, when it pointed to members of the Jewish community, invaded their homes and workplaces, based on anonymous denunciations with no empirical support, to seek what was being denounced or at least any little thing that seemed suspicious and could be used to tarnish the names of the people targeted. It tried to use stolen material, obtained through illegal seizure, to destroy people who were disgraced publicly, due to an slanderous campaign organized by corrupt powers since December 18, 2021 with the failed attempt to connect a billionaire with Wikipedia tricks, previous donations and Jewish freemasons. On December 23, a council of ministers would take place to approve a diploma that would kill the Sephardic law in practice, so an appropriate environment was needed for that diploma to be approved to the applause of society. A case of total corruption.

Despite the calamitous action of the Justice officials, something important needs to be said. They live to work crushed in bureaucracies and do not feel that Jews are a danger to the country's economy, even because they think about their children first and not about political interests linked to bankrupt Portuguese elites and Arabic issues. Justice officials who trampled on the Jewish community of Oporto were used, deceived, alarmed, indoctrinated about the thesis that they should necessarily follow and made to act blindly by two handfuls of scoundrels who managed to be elites in a morally destroyed country. Only the latter had and have political interests antagonistic to the Israelis, the rich Jews, the law which potentially could attract 1 million Jews of Sephardic origin, and the only Portuguese Jewish community with synagogues filled with believers and museums, cinemas and restaurants filled with visitors.

The Oporto Jewish Community sued the State and the poor "visible" agents responsible for the abuses, in the Civil Court, in the Criminal Court, at the European Court of Human Rights, at the European Public Prosecutor's Office, and at the European Commission. Some reports were sent to security services of interested states and an international investigation was opened. There were meetings, books, videos, and exhibits in the Jewish Museum of Oporto. History will record what happened and the Community will always commemorate the Day of Shame, together with all the friends it has in Portugal, from common people to public personalities in all relevant areas. The great Kadoorie synagogue cannot be dismantled stone by stone to go to another country and the Jews were already in Portugal before the existence of any known monument.