The European Commission has recently been requested by the Jewish Community of Porto (CIP/CJP) to launch an investigation into claims of antisemitic incidents in Portugal. The Porto Jewish community’s president, Gabriel Senderowicz, made this plea based on police action against the community in March 2022. The CIP/CJP is expecting that this investigation will provide light on whether or if state agents were connected to their group’s targeting.
According to David Garrett, a council member for legal affairs at CIP/CJP, it would be more than simply a coincidence if state officials used criminals to attack their group. He thinks that any investigation should look into state-sponsored and non-state groups and any tactics that might have been utilized to harm the Porto-Jewish community. In addition, he emphasized that any probe must consider the broader backdrop of racism and discrimination against Jews throughout Europe.
Vivian Groisman from the Sephardi archive also spoke up about what it was like to witness what transpired and why she thinks a global probe is necessary for the community’s protection. She further asserted that such an investigation might turn up other underlying problems that may have influenced what happened in March 2022. Groisman emphasized the significance of conducting such investigations thoroughly and objectively to prevent bias or prejudice from influencing the findings.
The European Commission appears to have expressed some initial interest in this request for an investigation by CIP/CJP. It considers approaching such a sensitive issue without interfering with regional law enforcement protocols or relations between Portugal and other European countries.
This potential investigation would provide hope to individuals seeking justice in this specific case when worry about the rise in antisemitism in Europe is growing. It also sends a clear message that whoever commits such acts—state or non-state actors—will be held accountable for them by the proper authorities by international law.
Nevertheless, it is currently unknown when such an investigation would occur or what its findings might be. Regardless of what happens, we hope it will serve as a precedent for future instances in which minorities in Europe have been subjected to abuses comparable to these.