"Murderer Jews", hate messages continue in the city of Oporto

A message painted on "Rua de 5 de Outubro" in Oporto, near of the Kadoorie synagogue, shows hatred against Jews. "Murderer Jews" is not a message addressed to Israel, nor to the Israelites, nor to any reality other than the Jews themselves as a religious and cultural nation, regardless of the country or territory where they live.

The year 2024 has barely begun and has already witnessed a rise in antisemitic rhetoric and attacks. Threats against the Jewish population in Oporto, posters denouncing Jewish landlords of the city, and the publication of lists of Israeli Jewish businessmen by a political newspaper have added to the concerning trend.

One noteworthy demonstration in early February urged people not to rent houses from what they referred to as "Zionist murderers," "Neither Haifa or Boavista", highlighting tensions within the community. Subsequent actions, such as the publication of a list of individuals working for Israeli investors by Esquerda.net newspaper, have further exacerbated the situation.

Boavista, an Oporto neighborhood referenced by one of the signs, is the home of the central synagogue of the Jewish Community of Oporto and a growing number of Jewish and Israeli residents. Protesters drew inspiration from the Israel-Hamas war and anti-Israel narratives, instructing people not to rent a house from Israelis.

Some months ago, on October 10, 2023, the central synagogue in Oporto was vandalized with the words "Free Palestine" and "end Israel apartheid." The graffiti appeared a few hours after the conclusion of a rally in support of Israel held in the local municipal plaza. "Haters of Israel act out their hate against local Jews," said Gabriel Senderowicz, president of the Oporto Jewish community.

In 2022 the Portuguese State pointed to members of the Oporto Jewish community, invaded their homes and workplaces, based on anonymous denunciations with no empirical support. The "indictments" presented by those Lisbon authorities against the Community and a French businessman 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.

For more than a year, a handful of journalists 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 fake news and the illegal searches and seizures knew that they would provoke hatred and discrimination against the Jewish Community of Oporto for a long time: “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".

There is a noticeable lack of condemnation among Portuguese politicians across the political spectrum. This silence in response to increasing antisemitism in Portugal can potentially lead to physical attacks against Jews, especially in Oporto. The local Jewish community has already addressed a frightening question to the Republic's Attorney General: "Who will be responsible when a terrorist attack occurs against the Jewish community of Oporto, its members, synagogues, Jewish museum, Holocaust museum and its other institutions? In a country with a population of 10 million people and about 5000 Jews (0.05% of the total population), most of them arriving in the last decade, the Jewish minority is already beginning to be accused of endangering fundamental rights of the Portuguese, such as the right to housing."