The Kadoorie Mekor Haim Synagogue in the coastal city of Porto, Portugal, has been vandalised with a pro-Palestine slogan as tensions are rising amid the Hamas-Israeli war.
Last Wednesday, October 11, the Kadoorie Mekor Haim Synagogue was vandalised with black graffiti slogans reading “Free Palestine” and “End Israel Apartheid.” The act of vandalism comes after a night of vigil for victims of the Hamas attack held in Porto’s city hall, attended by almost 400 people, during which the building was illuminated in the colours of the Israeli flag.
The largest synagogue on the Iberian Peninsula and among the largest in Europe, Kadoorie serves a tight-knit community of about 1,000 Porto Jews, including many with familial ties to Israel. The graffiti was removed the same day, and no arrest has been made, reports The Times of Israel.
Porto’s Jewish community has flourished in recent years; therefore, many anticipate it becoming the most prominent target for antisemitism in Portugal as tensions are escalating due to the Israel-Hamas war.
Gabriel Senderowicz, the president of the Jewish Community of Porto, said that upon discovering the vandalism at the synagogue, he met with the representatives of the city’s Catholic and Muslim communities about protecting against violence.
“We met in the city hall to make sure that the relationship between our communities is safe, it’s solid,” he told JTA. “This doesn’t have consequences for our relationship.”
European leaders had to increase security around synagogues and Jewish neighbourhoods to prepare for antisemitic threats in the wake of the conflict. Porto police have reinforced their presence around the Kadoorie synagogue and other Jewish institutions.