Number of antisemitic graffiti increases in Portugal

Number of antisemitic graffiti increases in Portugal

The wall of the Jewish Cemetery of Funchal, Madeira

The department for combating antisemitism of the Jewish Community of Oporto has watched with great concern an increase in antisemitic graffiti.

In Oporto, where occurrences are recorded weekly, the Community's security sector is committed to erasing them and in not advertising the places where they are posted, so as not to cause a phenomenon of mimicry.

However, graffiti does not only occur in the North of Portugal and Jews from other parts of the country have asked for the Community's help to stop these frightening occurrences.

This week, a swastika was found in the Jewish Cemetery of Funchal, Madeira: “I visited the cemetery in Funchal this morning and was most upset to see that the outside walls had been desecrated with swastikas as per the photograph attached. I wonder if you are able to make contact with the relevant authorities to see how this might be painted over and the desecration removed”, said Jeremy Jacobs, a Jew who was worried.

The wall of a church in Praia da Barra (Aveiro)

A few days earlier, the Jewish Community of Oporto had been notified about graffiti on the wall of a church in Praia da Barra, in the district of Aveiro: “I saw it for the first time between February and April 2021 and since I was there recently, I went to check if they took it off. I can't imagine that in so long no one has seen this and not taken it off. Now that I know I can report to you, I will always take pictures. I've seen it in other parts of Portugal, but I don't know in which area”, declared Mrs. Lewis, a Jew who is committed to living in a country where antisemitism does not manifest itself so blatantly.

The increase in graffiti comes alongside the increase in slurs against the Jewish community, linked to supposed immoral schemes and businesses.

Contemporary antisemitism can be found in radical and fringe groups espousing right-wing, left-wing or Islamist extremism, it can hide behind anti-Zionism, but it can also be found in the centre of society.

Jews are often excluded from the minorities to be protected. Jews don’t count. They are off the political agenda in many countries, as they are seen as plutocrats of an obscurantist religion and culture with their own state in Israel.