European Parliament elections continue to be marred by anti-Semitic statements

European Parliament elections continue to be marred by anti-Semitic statements

The elections for the European Parliament in Portugal continue to be marked by statements of anti-Semitic content. It is no longer just parties on the left accusing Israel of "genocide", nor a candidate from the political right suggesting that Jewish workers in the Twin Towers were warned about the attacks of September 11, 2001. Now it was another candidate from a nationalist party to declare that "Judaism is the enemy of Christianity", that "war in Ukraine aims to exterminate the Slavic people", and that "it only favors International Jewish Finance".

Rui Castro, a former judge of the Portuguese courts, argued on a television program last Wednesday, May 29, that "the war in Ukraine has two purposes: to exhaust Europe financially and to exterminate the Slavic people either on the side of Ukraine, or on Russia's side. The Slavic people are being exterminated."

For the candidate for member of the European parliament, "This war only favors the International Jewish Finance that controls the arms lobby and that has no interest in the peoples and no empathy for human beings."

Confronted by another speaker who accused him of making anti-Semitic statements, the candidate said that "anti-Semitism and anti-Talmudism are different things." The following day, to support such serious statements, the candidate published an excerpt from a video on where a speaker interprets in an extremist way the prophets' predictions about the advent of a world war that would kill the majority of the planet's inhabitants. In the video, the speaker says that the survivors will recognize the moral superiority of the Jews and that wealth in the world will be guaranteed for everyone, as it will have been left behind due to the large number of deaths.

The candidate's explosive statements and the "evidence" he presented add to many other anti-Semitic episodes that have occurred in the last four years. The growth of hatred towards Jews seems to have no end and no one knows what the future holds.

The growth of the Portuguese Jewish community gave way to an action by the socialist party in 2020 (to destroy the nationality law in favor of Jews of Sephardic origin) riddled with expressions such as "money", "business", "interest" and "passports of convenience". No political party or reputable newspaper came to the defense of the Jews.

The following year, fake news and anonymous complaints from convicts were promoted, which the government itself sent to the prosecutor's office. The result was the invasion of the largest synagogue by the police and the destruction of the good name of the only community that had full synagogues and full museums, the Oporto Jewish community.

The community was the target of tens of thousands of hate messages, its business owners were listed in newspapers, and demonstrations for housing screamed against the "murderous Zionists" of the Oporto community and showed posters such as "Neither Haifa nor Boavista", "Neither Bombs nor Evictions". Kosher restaurants have been vandalized. The synagogue itself was vandalized with "Apartheid" inscriptions without any party leader condemning that act.

The climate of intolerance that currently exists in Portugal has also shown its face in schools and universities, where Jewish students have been discriminated against and mistreated by colleagues and rectors have been almost forced to cut off any collaborations with Israeli companies.

Last May 22nd, when the Israeli embassy organized a cultural and inclusive event to celebrate 76 years of Independence, more than two hundred far-left protesters gathered outside the event venue and attacked, insulted, spat on and threw paint cans at the embassy guests.

An oldest member of Oporto's Jewish community, Samuel Yanovsky said a decade ago that "there is no anti-Semitism in Portugal because there are not yet enough Jews". Reality proved him right.