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European Union flags in front of the European Commission building in Brussels

The Jewish Community of Porto is sending a grave warning about incoming President of the Council of the European Union, António Costa, who late last year resigned from his position as Prime Minister of Portugal due to ongoing corruption investigations surrounding his closest associates.

Leaders in the Porto Jewish community claim in a newly released book that Costa was involved in the persecution of the strongest Jewish community in Portugal.


The community’s leaders also claim Costa was behind the repeal of Portugal’s 2015 Nationality Law (a.k.a. the Sephardic Law), which granted Portuguese citizenship to descendants of Jews forced to leave from the country in the 15th century and in the following centuries.

Half a year after the dismissal of the Portuguese government due to corruption scandals, Costa was named to the role of President of the Council of the European Union, one of the three most important leadership posts of the EU.

The Jewish community in Porto has compiled an in-depth report which it has released on Amazon for free (via Kindle), entitled The Plan! Jewish Life Threatened in Europe, documenting Costa’s socialist government actions against Jews and the Jewish community. The book warns that this could now become a continent-wide problem when the former Portuguese prime minister assumes his new EU role later in the year.

“We think it is important to make the story of those who are about to take on a significant role in the European Union known to the general public,” said the president of the Jewish community of Porto Gabriel Senderowicz.

“The European Union has a plan to help promote Jewish life over the coming years. However, this could be threatened by the appointment of a man who has a history of animosity towards Jews, the law, and the Jewish community and tried to shrink and attack it in his home country during his tenure as prime minister,” the Porto Jewish community warns.

“It is vital that Europeans learn the true identity and ideology of Costa, and the Jewish world understands the dangers to the continent’s Jewish communities.”

Some of the claims in the report include a warning that Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Costa government, Augusto Santos Silva, worked hard to revoke the “Sephardic Nationality law” because of the “Palestinian cause” (“Causa Palestine”) in the words of the President of the Portuguese republic.

Antonio Costa is a close friend (and was also best man at her wedding) of Constança Sosa who in 2020, obeying Santos Silva’s wishes, led the destructive debate in Parliament against the “Sephardic Nationality Law”.

Sosa even compared the exponential increase in Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Portugal to the spread of the coronavirus and warned in a parliamentary committee that there would be “tens of millions” of Jews of Sephardic origin applying for citizenship.

Simultaneously, opponents of the law orchestrated a campaign employing antisemitic tropes to undermine the law. The community provides documented proof attesting to this.

The book exposes claims against the Porto Jewish community that were part of an antisemitic campaign of slander by journalists and opinion-shapers who joined the government’s efforts.

Antonio Costa is the brother of Ricardo Costa, who is the director of two of the media outlets that published the most negative publications against the Jewish community in Porto and against “Sephardic Nationality law”, which led the community to publish another book, also last Friday, titled Journalistic Corruption in Portugal – How to Attempt to Destroy a Jewish Community.

Regarding the persecution of the Porto Jewish community, it was Costa’s Minister of Justice, Francisca Van Dunen, who sent “anonymous complaints” against the community to the Attorney General of Lisbon whom she herself had appointed. That Attorney General approved the opening of an investigation against the Jewish community) which the Porto police had already rejected due to a lack of credibility in the anonymous complaints.

The investigation by the Lisbon prosecutor’s office and police included a search of the Porto synagogue, the largest in the Iberian Peninsula, as well as the homes of community council members, a baseless raid on community institutions and a series of other measures.

These actions were an attempt to destroy the reputation of the community and promote hatred and discrimination against it.

There were bomb threats against the synagogue and Porto’s Holocaust museum as well as demonstrations by thousands of people against the “Jewish landlords” of the community, some of whom are investors in the real estate market.

Furthermore, António Costa managed to extricate himself from the current corruption investigations against the government, after volunteering as a witness and not as a defendant by the same prosecutor, Rita Madeira, who led the investigation against the Jewish community of Porto which has already been defined by the Lisbon Court of Appeal as a case “based on nothing”.

João Peres, the renowned Portugal criminal lawyer who has enjoyed a 50-year long career, explained some of the illegal actions taken under the Rita Madeira investigation.

Peres says he has “never seen such procedurally unfair and dishonest behavior by a prosecutor, who is running an investigation devoid of any exemption, in the course of which a rabbi was illegally arrested, illegal searches were carried out in a synagogue and other areas belonging to the Jewish community, all of this based on slanderous anonymous letters, and calling into question the honorability and even the Judaism of community leaders.

“What I see today is the case being kept under judicial secrecy for nine months beyond the legal limit so as to hide all these illegalities and others that will become known, notifications without date or signature, procedural documents of mandatory notification that are hidden from me to avoid my appealing or to force me to appeal blindly, which is an absolute disgrace that I cannot tolerate and to which I will obviously react harshly in the interests of justice,” he emphasized.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.