I hesitated to answer Ms. Mucznik’s article, but given that my family members who claim to be Jewish ancestry were at a loss by what happened, I decided to clear up this painful mistake. The misunderstanding resulted from a tweet that I posted and deleted after I pulled out. I have used a generalization that I recognize as abusive when referring to Jews.
However, Ms. Mucznik knew how to pronounce this mistake on my part, seriously insulting my character and making a blank slate of lifelong service, and then in a newspaper that had a great influence on public opinion.
I am amazed at the content of Ms. Esther Mucznik’s text and the real reasons for its publication.
I wonder what he will do if he attributes an anti-Semitic prejudice to me.
I wonder why he wants to question the fighter who tried to overthrow a dictatorship and defend the constitution of the republic, fought for democracy, freedoms and rights of the peoples and denied him this obligation.
I wonder if it intends to confirm the existence of anti-Semitic prejudice in Portugal due to an ad hominem attack.
Yes, that is the aim that Mrs Mucznik is pursuing by creating a connection between a quickly fixed gesture and the persistence of this prejudicial mentality in Portugal, imputing the failure of my democratic principles and humanistic values in a captive and malicious way.
A thesis that fits well into a political “pogrom” that is disturbingly similar to those in accusatory defamations of the “holy” Inquisition.
But what does Mucznik finally propose?
That I, a common man whose life has long been devoted to the defense of humanistic values, would be the scapegoat for the malaria that has not been eradicated, the anti-Semitic prejudice in Portuguese society?
He knocked on the wrong door and was simply looking for sensation. I am aware of the persecution Jews have faced over the centuries and the heinous Holocaust of the 20th century.
Aristides de Sousa Mendes is a banner for humanists in these shameful times who, like me, claim to be defenders of human dignity.
And I did not see that Ms. Mucznik, who was already an adult and was a Portuguese citizen, had years of censorship and oppression, had the courage during the dictatorship to denounce the exclusion and silence that this Portuguese hero was chosen to be.
Not even after April 25, 1974, when everyone wanted to assert themselves as Democrats, did I see Ms. Mucznik raise her voice to lament that a past of injustice and suffering for the Jewish people is not putting current Israeli leaders on a path of respect for the crucified Palestinian people.
In addition to the constant disregard of the most elementary rights not just of a minority, but of an entire people, the imposition of painful walls and segregations, disgusting humiliations, restrictions on individual freedoms including religious freedoms in complete disregard for international agreements found in the resolutions of the United Nations and in the world public we the most damaging example of the lack of any social commitment.
The murder of Yitzhak Rabin explains all of this.
It is clear that Mrs Mucznik, who lives in a free country where she has guaranteed the exercise of all political and civil liberties, can continue to freely warn of the internal dangers of Portugal and see the inequalities of the events in Palestine as such a problem smaller .
Where is, Ms. Mucznik, this social commitment that denies those who have fought to give their people freedom if they do not accept the greatest human rights violations in contemporary history?