The Communiqué of the Jewish Community of Porto

The Communiqué of the Jewish Community of Porto

1. The Sephardic Law was effectively destroyed through Executive Act 26/2022 of 18 March, which altered the regime applicable to the documents required for nationality processes for foreigners who are descended from Portuguese Sephardic Jews. From September 1, 2022, applicants will be required to present a certificate proving (i) “ownership, transmitted mortis causa, of rights over real estate located in Portugal, other personal rights or holdings in commercial companies or cooperatives based in Portugal”, or (ii) “regular travel to Portugal throughout the applicant’s life”, while it is also required that (iii) “such facts demonstrate a lasting and effective link to Portugal”.

The Jews forced to abandon Portugal centuries ago had their assets confiscated. It is logically impossible for present-day Sephardic Jews to have inherited assets or holdings in companies or even to have been travelling to Portugal throughout their lives.

The sovereignty of the Portuguese State which can end or change this law and any other law at any time is not in question, but the procedure could and should have been implemented without jeopardizing the image and security of Sephardic Jews and the Portuguese Jewish communities. That is not what happened during two years.

2. On March 18, the Oporto Jewish Community had already ceased certifications. The law could have continued, had the problem been the Jewish community of Oporto. However, said destruction had long been in the making, for the former Vice President of the Socialist Party parliamentary bench Constança Urbano de Sousa’s proposal (dated April 2020) already established a transitional period until early 2022.

The persecution of the Jewish community of Oporto, the false claims decried by the media and the smear campaign against the law were mere fireworks, allowing the plan devised for the start of 2022 to be implemented in the midst of all the commotion. The Justice Minister Francisca Van Dunem felt free to destroy the law because of the atmosphere of terror that had been deliberately caused. “Operation Open Door” was underway. No one raised their voice to defend the law. Defenders of the law such as Ribeiro e Castro, Manuel Alegre, Maria de Belém Roseira, José Vera Jardim, Alberto Martins and others, they disappeared to avoid being accused of colluding with a supposed "business".

3. The “Operation Open Door” case which was presented to the world as the sale of passports by a rabbinate who acted for money, is a “Palestinian case” that attacks Jewish Israelis, wealthy Jews and all significant Jewish realities connected with Portugal. There are indications of exchanges of favours between individuals from the the Portuguese elites, use of the judiciary for political ends, conspiracy theories, night robberies of law firms and private homes, false accusations of drug trafficking and schemes with Russia, and use of anonymous denunciations made by state agents, professional slanderers and individuals condemned for defamation, all this articulated with a murderous media campaign carried out by half a dozen journalists and influencers to destroy the credibility of a law, community leaders and people whose Sephardic origin had been certified in compliance with the law.

4. The Jewish Community of Oporto filed a complaint with the European Public Prosecutor's Office alleging an antisemitic conspiracy against the wealthy members of the Portuguese Jewish community and the strongest Jewish organisation in Portugal – harming the financial interests of the European Union. The complaint was submitted with the assistance of lawyers from Portugal, the USA and Israel and the European Jewish Association (EJA) – the organization representing the union of Jewish Communities from Portugal to Ukraine.

The objectives of the conspiracy were to reject politically the large influx of Israeli citizens with an interest in Portuguese nationality; to destroy the Sephardic Law against a backdrop of terror, so that no one could come forward to defend that law; and to produce a “criminal lawsuit” based on anonymous denunciations that aim to destroy the Jewish businessman Patrick Drahi, wealthy Jews of Portuguese origin and the Jewish Community of Oporto, possibly the strongest Jewish organization in Europe in terms of religion, culture, education and the fight against antisemitism.

The entire complaint has been bound into a book under the title "The First Major Antisemitic Conspiracy of the 21st Century" which can be downloaded for free here. A copy of the book is being sent to libraries around the world and will be taught in various programmes of antisemitism studies.

5. “The European Public Prosecutor's Office has no legal legitimacy to investigate cases of antisemitism, but in this case there are some signs of corruption on the part of ruling elites and this harms all citizens of Europe" said the President of the Jewish Community in Oporto, Gabriel Senderowicz. "Our goal is to document the conspiracy, even if the European Public Prosecutor decides not to do anything about it. We will ensure that this information is spread everywhere where education on antisemitism is necessary. Modern antisemitism in Europe does not attack the Jews in general like in the past, but only the real Jewish strengths – strong communities, wealthy Jews, laws beneficial to Jews, and the State of Israel. In the Soviet Union, the “not so strong” communities were not destroyed, as they served as publicity for the political regime. Anyone visiting Moscow could visit a beautiful synagogue with open doors, but practically dead, with no relevant Jewish life."

6. The conspiracy, paternally guided from above and with international interests in the middle, has made use of an amalgam of people such as the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Augusto Santos Silva, who was a moral author of the Sephardic law destruction - "It was a "Palestinian issue" -, the former Vice President of the Socialist Party parliamentary bench Constança Urbano de Sousa, who compared the exponential reproduction of the Sephardim to the coronavirus (and said that together with her two children she will be responsible for one million descendants 250 years down the line), and the Justice Minister Francisca van Dunem who made a regulation that ended the Sephardic law in practical terms from 1 September 2022, collected "anonymous" denunciations from the dregs of society and sent them for "criminal investigation" by authorities whose leaders she herself named.

The complaint mentions the destructive role of some influencers, and also journalists from the newspapers “Público” and “Expresso” and from the TV channels “SIC” and “RTP”. For eight months they never once mentioned one single positive effect of the Sephardic law, referred a crowded synagogue and museums filled with people as “opulence”, and reduced the so-called Sephardic Law to the fees charged by the Jewish Community of Oporto (250 euros). They were permanently attacking the honor of Community members and applicants who have been certified. The only things they spoke about concerned suspicions of supposed corruption, Mossad, oligarchs, cannabis drugs, profits, big business, and so on.

Week after week, entire families were subject to libellous exposure in the newspapers, and slander on television, all based on anonymous denunciations and anonymous sources. No one escaped this type of Inquisition-style “purification”, from religious and secular leaders – rabbis, presidents, former presidents, vice-presidents, treasurers, members, secretaries – as well as the museologist, and even the doorkeeper and friends of the Community. Old people crying, children afraid of going to school because they were Jewish, and the Chief Rabbi being attacked at a supermarket.

7. The Portuguese State is not antisemitic. Among the victims of this conspiracy are also the President of the Portuguese Republic, the Prime Minister, parliamentary leaders, judges, police, and the overwhelming majority of the media, even media outlets that are often accused of scandalous acts.