family sitting at table

The diplomat introduced herself as “an American Jewish woman”, who feels that there is hostile behavior against people of Jewish origin in Portugal too.

The ambassador of the United States of America to Portugal, Randi Charno Levine, warned this Wednesday of what she considers to be the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, and also in Portugal, defending dialogue between different communities.

“The growth of antisemitism in Europe should be a warning sign for everyone and, unfortunately, I think it has happened very quickly,” said Levine, in Covilhã, after stressing that “destabilization in the Middle East is a concern for everyone.”

On a visit to Belmonte and Covilhã, in the Castelo Branco district, the diplomat introduced herself as “an American Jewish woman”, who feels that in Portugal there is also hostile behavior towards people of Jewish origin, in some cases “a negative, hateful discourse”.

Levine went to Belmonte – where a Jewish community is concentrated and visited the Jewish Museum and the town’s synagogue, accompanied by the local rabbi – and then to Covilhã, where there is also an old Jewish quarter and she wanted to learn about the history of the wool industry. “Following the history of the Jews in Portugal is important to me, particularly now, because of the growth of global anti-Semitism, including in Europe,” Levine stressed.

The diplomat emphasized that, since she has been working in Portugal, she has promoted interaction with representatives of different religions and stressed that this communication with other elements of the community is important. “I’m a Jewish woman, I’m very proud of my origins. I came here, I took part, I organized interfaith dialogues in my home, I invited people from the Indian community, the Muslim community and I don’t think we should be afraid to fight hate speech,” she said.

At Covilhã Town Hall, where she was welcomed by the mayor, Vítor Pereira, the ambassador highlighted the “bridge between the ancient and the modern” that she found in the two towns she visited, which allowed her to “learn more about history”. “It’s wonderful for me to see that there are those who preserve the history of the Jews, the mark they left on Portugal and honor that history,” said Randi Charno Levine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *