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OpinionLatin America

The Jews, the USSR and the Portuguese Socialist Party 2020-23

Government is materialistically based and too involved with the interests of the Arab countries; the Jewish world is viewed as a threat to official ideology.

Portuguese Socialist Party headquarters in Lisbon. Credit: Rachimbourg via Wikimedia Commons.
Portuguese Socialist Party headquarters in Lisbon. Credit: Rachimbourg via Wikimedia Commons.
Vivian Groisman
Vivian Groisman is coordinator of the Jewish Museum of Oporto, Portugal.

The action of the Portuguese Socialist Party government that operated for the last four years and is now in a caretaker capacity until the March 2024 elections (having collapsed with a crash due to a case of alleged corruption) has shown that it is riddled with an anti-Jewish spirit. This greatly resembles that present in the Soviet Union, which crushed local Jewish life, although Judaism was never officially forbidden and the doors of the main synagogues were always kept open. Everything that is written below occurred both in the Soviet Union and in Portugal.

The government is materialistically based and too involved with the interests of the Arab countries. Therefore, the Jewish world is viewed as a threat to official ideology, state business and the perch of the elites, for whom Jews are serious competitors, with intelligent, agile and stubborn characteristics that function like lubricant on the creaking wheels of the state apparatus.

The government considers Jewish life to be a skeleton bearing a sign adapted to its interests. All that is good in Jewish religion, culture and chutzpah is described as an “immoral business”, while all that is innocuous or inconsistent with Jewish values is described as good.

The government invests nothing in the Jewish communities and institutions—not even for its physical safety—nor does it willingly agree that the international Jews should do so. Too close a contact with Jewish organizations abroad is viewed as a threat, for it might feed natural tendencies for success.

The government preaches the message that there is no room for Nazism here, that there is no Jewish problem, and that it works endlessly to perfect a system that fights discrimination of all kinds. These are hollow words and bear no relation to reality. Nothing is done to help the communities promote Jewish life and the fight against antisemitism is reduced to useless ceremonies and pure propaganda.

The government is skilled at placing the Jews on the spot, as speculators, parasites and cheating, corrupt rabbis—or a mixture of all the above. It has also shown itself to be expert at dealing with the newspapers of record, which can more easily transform the Jews into stereotypes to feed the ire of the masses during a crisis.

The government is skilled at avoiding charges of antisemitism and has no wish to attract negative publicity internationally. It therefore focuses its actions on solely and exclusively destroying the most relevant Jewish realities, however beautiful their achievements in terms of religion, teaching, history, entrepreneurship, music, literature, cinema, art, and so on and so forth.

The government carries out the destruction of any organized Jewish community it considers “bad” in three stages: vilifying the synagogal structure and its leaders; mobilizing public opinion against the reality it condemns; and executing institutional assassination through the apparatus of justice. Invariably, the main synagogue is viewed as a black market site and not a temple, causing individual neuroses in the entire national Jewish community, although the attack merely targets a chosen few.

The government has its own channels to spur journalists, prosecutors and the police to carry out an ineluctable devastation. The Jewish institutions and their rabbis and leaders are so successively battered that they lose their creative capacity, spirit and inspiration to continue to produce Jewish life and bring about a solid generation of continuators.

The government relies on many resources for its destructive action. The duty press destroys what it can, uses unbelievable anonymous denunciations and also opens the microphone to the professional slanderers (rejected and punished by all civilizations of all times), who love to link these institutions to immoral business, mobilize public opinion against allegedly disloyal persons and throw the police at them in a huge scandalous move.

The government uses anonymous letters that arrive or are produced at the request of people attracted by the news articles to judge others as they do themselves, to speculate crazy things and/or personal vengeance. The government itself sends these to the public prosecutor’s office and to the police, whose leaders it appointed, brutally charging the strongest synagogues and their “illegal” activities, within the scope of alleged economic crimes.

The government uses for its own benefit the customary, ever-present conflicts at the heart of the different Jewish communities, which are in dispute, or even internal conflicts within each community. It often invites individuals or groups to “tell all” about their rivals, preferably in the form of anonymous letters to the newspapers and the police.

The government gives a voice to Jews in the capital with connections to the party, or even officials or para-officials of the ruling apparatus, putting in the mouths of those very same Jews that “there is no antisemitism” and that “to say otherwise is a slander harmful to the Jews themselves,” thus confusing international Judaism and making it impossible to receive any aid from abroad. The “good Jews” are used as window dressing for the world and to legitimize the persecution of Jewish institutions that have been marked out for destruction.

The government is experienced in destroying groups or persons it believes should be excised, with the stereotype of swindling and corruption knowing full well that in doing so to a Jewish community, it besmirches every Jew. The press with closer links to the elites prints the real names of the people targeted, and woe to the individuals or the institutions that are targeted if the duty journalists take against them.

The government and the press caught up in commitments with Arab countries take aim at every really significant Jewish reality (not even the State of Israel is immune) to the extent that most national Jews have lost any interest in this small state. No other country as small and as hardworking deserves such a large dose of adverse if not lethal propaganda.

The government does everything it can to keep the Israeli embassy under control, taking away with one hand what it gave with the other, taking part with a huge smile in its celebrations while voting against Israel at the United Nations, promoting hope and serving up disillusion, so that the embassy stays silent in the face of the persecution of the Jewish community and the very benefactors of the people and the State of Israel.

The government is made up of individuals who do not know history and do not belong to elite families with a long lineage. Therefore, their psychological reasons are garnered from the lower levels of society and from the reasons of foreign policy that are totally negative to international Judaism and Israel. The trumpets of propaganda screaming about treachery and vendors of the homeland addressed to the targets to be taken down, amplify the complex of the astute and foxy Jew.

The government carries out a Jewish policy hidden behind hollow formulas, although this policy is not monolithic and causes differences of opinion. This was the case for decades in the USSR. This was the case in Portugal between 2020 and 2023. In both territories, the peoples who witnessed it all never rebelled against the government policy, either because they never understood it or because they had imbibed with their mother’s milk the idea that Jews are linked to money, trickery and evil.

An unequal struggle.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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