The Jewish Community of Oporto writes a letter to the European Commissioner of Justice

The Jewish Community of Oporto writes a letter to the European Commissioner of Justice

1 June 2023
H.E. Didier Reynders
European Commissioner for Justice
Rue de la Loi / Wetstraat 200
1049 Brussels, Belgium

Dear Mr. Didier Reynders,

1. In a recent interview to a Portuguese newspaper you mentioned the care involving granting nationality to Russians and did not fail to mention the name of Mr. Roman Abramovich. However, the citizen in question is Portuguese, not because he is Russian, but because he is a Jew, a Jew whose Sephardic origins are based in family names such as Rosa, Leiva, Leibovich / son of Leon, Nachman and memories of rituals, customs, travel, attested to by the Rabbanut of their home Jewish community. We, the Jews and our rabbis, are the ones who know who we are, and not those who for centuries have categorised us and our actions and are now doing it again.

Before being Portuguese, Belgian, Russian or Ukrainian, we are Jews. Mr. Vladimir Zelensky asked the USA not to sanction Mr. Roman Abramovich; for many years the CIP/CJP has been a partner and benefactor of the Jewish Ukrainian community and other sister communities in fourteen countries.

2. Even before certifying Mr. Roman Abramovich in July 2020, the certification department of the Jewish Community of Oporto knew the Sephardic origin of many Abramovich as set out in official lists (v.g. Zamosc list, 1963), public debates in Israel about the eligibility of that surname for Portuguese nationality (v.g. Haaretz, 2019), the Israeli nationality /Jewish quality of the person in question (BBC, 2018) and his Sephardic roots (attested to by credible entities in the Jewish world) of his paternal family, which also could entitled him to Lithuanian nationality, plus the decades-long support he has given to the Chabad Lubavitch movement, of Portuguese origin.

3. Mr. Roman Abramovich has a Ukrainian mother and a Lithuanian father, and was only born in Russia because of terrible persecutions, mostly against his Lithuanian families who were robbed of everything by the Soviet Russians: hotels, real estate, merchant ships and, in the case of the grandfather, his very life. Nachman Leibovich (son of Rosa and Leiva and the major philanthropist of the Lithuanian Jewish community and of Chabad) was killed in a Siberian gulag, having been deemed a danger to national security.

4. Mr Roman Abramovich fulfils the legal criteria set out in Article 24-A of the Regulation of the Law of Portuguese Nationality and the explanatory list set out in Executive Act n.º 30-A/2015 of 27 February, and the Portuguese Government granted nationality to the applicant of its own volition. On 24th August 2020, the applicant received the CIP/CJP certificate; on 30th August, the possibility for the applicant to invest in Portugal was communicated to the Prime Minister's office; on 16th September, that possibility was discussed at a meeting with the Minister of the Economy; on 19th October, it was highlighted with the Minister of Justice; on 3rd February 2021, CIP/CJP wrote to the member of the Government for the area of Justice at the Lisbon Central Registry Office and requested a “declaration of urgency for reasons of national interest”, especially the "recovery of the economy" and the "prestige of the institutions", so as not to repeat the case of "a philanthropist from Hong Kong" (another "suspect"!) who saw her case take "five years at a car registration office"; and on 30th April 2021, the Government, by the powers granted to the Registry Office, granted Portuguese nationality to the applicant.

If currently the State does not wish to grant nationality to people of particular provenances, it is quite simple. It merely has to use its discretionary power (“may give” – 6/7 Nationality Law) and not give it. What it cannot do, however, is imitate the Stalinists and try to ruin one of the strongest Jewish organizations in the world with techniques familiar to us from other times and other latitudes.

5. In December 2021, journalistic corruption provided a political favour, talking about supposed “Wikipedia and Jewish freemasonry trickery”, "initial donations given to the CIP/CJP”, and "funding of the Holocaust Museum". The newspapers published those fake news without even having heard of the Jewish Community of Oporto. Then, people completely in ignorance of the Jewish world cried publicly that the applicant had paid a good price for his certification. This slander spread throughout the world. (Please note that the Oporto Jewish Community received only 250 euros, which is the value of the emolument in any case.)

6. In March 2022, the Portuguese police raided the synagogue on a Shabbat eve. The warrants said that there were suspicions of “active corruption” (and not passive corruption) because the community's rabbi supposedly had corrupted the registry office, a fake suspicion arising from an anonymous denunciation. However, once again the Portuguese press falsely associated the word corruption with the case of Mr. Roman Abramovich. The problem with some current elites in Portugal is that they are poor and only think about money.

7. At the synagogue, what the police really wanted was to find the file on a French billionaire (who had been certified, and rightly so, by the community of Lisbon) who has the highest investments in this country. The authoritarian frenzy was such and they took so many papers that in the end they forgot the file on Mr Roman Abramovich. More than a year has passed and the file has not been requested, leading the Community to sent Abramovich’s certification case to the Presidents of the Republics of Israel and of Portugal.

The Community also write to the inquiry to say the following: “We have handed over to our lawyer, for him to give you, the file concerning the Sephardic origins of Mr. Roman Abramovich, which was forgotten in March 2022 in our premises. The file has contents that are impossible to falsify for they are set out in e-mails, books, links, lists of surnames, minutes, certifications and even communications by personalities who are alive and may be contacted at any time. Instead, the basest falsification was at the root of the anti-Jewish schemes of all those who had the State in their hands and gleefully promoted the current Lawsuit, while sitting comfortably, clamouring, urging, instructing, alarming and pressuring colleagues to launch the suicidal action of 11 March 2022, going in blind, based on nothing, or, rather, based on repulsive custom-made falsehoods, exclusively against the only strong Jewish community of the country (see the Youtube short video "Oporto Jewish Community, 2023"), with full synagogues, full museums, Jewish success, rich Jews and the legitimate officials. Messages exchanged between individuals of all the authorities as well as the personal involvement of those who should never have been able to be involved, the traffic of influences at the highest level, the most barefaced corruption of the State and the press, the false charges, the false sources, the false testimonies and even the use of convicted persons, mentally sick people and thieves, to set up the “Roman Abramovich case”, the “Patrick Drahi case”, the “case of Registry Office connections”, the “embezzlement case” and other follies, which will now have to be replaced by anything, anything at all, out of the millions of communications seized, so that at last “this can be linked to that”, “we have to save our skins”, “get this out of the way”, “blame it on the Russians”, “an apology, no way”.

8. The following words were taken from a Youtube video entitled “How to Destroy a Jewish Community” published a few days ago by the Jewish Community of Oporto. They demonstrate how easy it is to destroy a Jewish community and at the same time show how it is possible for a small Jewish organization to turn the table and demand the investigation of the persecutors.

"So, you don’t like traditional Jews, Jewish success and Israel? You don’t like packed synagogues and the Jewish community teaching people about the Holocaust? The State is at your mercy and you wish to destroy it all? Easy. Get someone to produce anonymous letters with false denunciations of corruption. Get some friendly journalists to publish these denunciations. Get your police to investigate that fictional corruption. Let them invade synagogues and the homes of leaders. Let them seize everything they find. You might be lucky and there’ll be something suspicious. But if nothing is found, don’t worry. Time is on your side. It will take years for the investigation to be completed. No one will bother you. The Jewish world itself will be paralyzed. The words corruption and police cause people to freeze. You are the greatest, the world is at your feet. But have you really won? Or will you face Jewish resilience? You’re the corrupter of the State, the corrupter of Civilisation."

9. The Oporto Jewish Community already offered world governments a book that explains the antisemitic attack on pages 28-48. On March 11, 2023, the organization 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 antisemitism in Portugal". At the same time, the Community decreed the "end" of the passport case and demanded an international investigation into a case of State and journalistic corruption that involved nocturnal robbers, convicted slanderers, murderers and patients of psychiatric hospitals.

Here are the shameful allegations in the warrants that “allowed” the synagogue to be invaded as if it were a brothel (March 11, 2022): “There are suspicions regarding the relations between various companies, the Jewish Community of Oporto and its leaders, and the relevant Portuguese authorities”, “privileged knowledge and connections in the registry offices, which allowed them to give priority to requests for the acquisition of nationality from Sephardic Jews”, “in exchange for pecuniary rewards, the origin of Sephardic Jews was falsely certified”, “in some cases the acquisition procedure is suspected to be illegal, such as Abramovich and Drahi”, “the H company, whose manager is the husband of the Vice-President, signs the certificates and has been increasing drastically the values of services rendered”, “donations illicitly channelled to some members with positions in that community”, “a considerable part of the money is channelled into private pockets”.

All completely false! The only "privileged connections" occurred between agents of the State among themselves, mixing with journalists and criminals. This was the "scheme", which must be investigated internationally.

10. In January and February we asked the European Commission to undertake an international investigation into these Soviet antisemites. So far, nothing has been done. 9 million Jews lived in Europe. Today,  they are 1 million. And they are leaving. 38% of the Jews in Europe are considering leaving Europe because they feel unsafe.

The EU plan to promote Jewish life is based on ambiguities. It is a fantasy. Ten years ago, our community was virtually dead. Today, it is maybe the strongest community in Europe as regards religion, culture, education, charity and fighting antisemitism. You’ve seen what happened.

We attach two letters.
We request your intervention.
We will request publication of this letter in the Portuguese Jewish News.

Best regards
Gabriel Senderowicz
President, CIP/CJP