Rodrigo Sousa Castro, a leader of the 1974 Portuguese Revolution, has sparked public outrage after he shared an antisemitic social media post.
Mr Sousa Castro was a military general who helped lead the Carnation Revolution of 1974 in Lisbon, which ended the authoritarian Estate Novo regime. Mr Sousa Castro has since been hailed as a national hero and his contribution is celebrated annually on 25th April, known nationally as “Freedom Day”.
On 5th February, however, he posted a tweet that read: “The Jews dominate global finance so they have the vaccines they wanted. It’s a kind of historical revenge. And I won’t say more until the Zionist bulldogs jump.” The tweet employed a classic antisemitic trope.
Leaders of the Portuguese Jewish community issued a statement condemning the general’s remark as deeply antisemitic and prejudiced. The statement added that such overt hate speech must not be ignored because of Mr Sousa Castro’s high profile.
After removing his initial tweet, Mr Sousa Castro stated: “A post in which I speak of Zionism and its crimes in Palestine was deleted because of the support of the Nazi-Zionism legion. Our page is now sanitised”. Under the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is an example of antisemitism.