On Saturday night, for the first 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 and launching on YouTube a video entitled "Soviet-style anti-Semitism in Portugal".
The date marked the first year since the Synagogue was invaded by a large number of policemen due to the alleged fraudulent issuance of certificates of Sephardic origin that allowed obtaining Portuguese nationality. The search warrants for the Oporto Synagogue were based solely on anonymous denunciations by convicted persons. All the accusations against the Community were technically impossible.
The warrants stated that the Community’s religious and secular leaders were suspected of stealing the money of the fees charged to Jews of Sephardic origin, that the certificates of Sephardic origin were issued by the Vice-President’s husband’s construction company, that he issued fake invoices to the Community, that the Chief Rabbi of the Community bribed officials of the registry he never visited, and that he had forged the Sephardic origin of French Israeli who had, in fact, been certified, and rightly so by the Lisbon Community, and that of a Russian Israeli who had in fact been certified and rightly so, by the Rabbinate of origin. At the same time, the police tried to find "suitcases with money" at the house of the Community’s Vice-President, who is the granddaughter of the founder of the Community, Captain Barros Basto, known wordwide as the “Portuguese Dreyfus”.
The "Day of Shame" will be marked every year as an antisemitic show that was done “BASED ON NOTHING”, in the words of the Court of Appeal on September 27. The Jewish Community of Oporto was slandered throughout the world, in 200 countries, and will never regain its good name.
The video now published recalls that the antisemitic campaign to destroy the respectable image of the only strong Jewish community in Portugal and the Sephardic law (which was actually destroyed seven days after the police operation) began in 2020 with a “Palestine cause” of the foreign minister. Gradually, anonymous denunciators with convictions, half a dozen ardent journalists and influencers with a history of antisemitism, joined the campaign, together with thieves robbing offices and homes, and even murderers.
The Jewish Community of Oporto is composed of around one thousand Jews who originate from 30 countries. The community has three synagogues, a Holocaust Museum, a Jewish Museum and kosher restaurants. In one of its programmes to combat antisemitism, the Oporto Jewish Community produced the film "1618" about the history of the Inquisition in the city. Airlines from Arab countries have purchased the rights to screen the film.