Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Portugal: Jewish community fearful of anti-Semitism following influx Middle East refugees

King Manuel I decreed that all Jews had
to convert or leave Portugal (1496).
Correio da Manhã reported that hundreds of Jews have applied for Portuguese nationality under a 2013 law granting citizenship to the descendants of Sephardic Jews, who were expelled 500 years ago.

The vast majority -70%-  come from Turkey.

The newspaper contacted the Oporto Jewish community and was told they they would not reveal the exact number of applicants because the massive influx of refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East and elsewhere who have come to Europe has created hostile reactions and comments and they do not want the Jews to be victims yet again.

It is not clear from the article what is making the Jewish community so apprehensive.  Is it the massive arrival of Muslims refugees who, for many, hold anti-Semitic views, or of the Portuguese population itself or of a conflation of both?  Will history repeat itself?  No it will not because Israel exists.

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