Spanish parliament approves law granting citizenship to Sephardic Jews

June 14, 2015 Agencies
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Spain’s Chamber of Deputies has approved a law aimed at granting citizenship to descendants of Sephardic Jews who were expelled during the Spanish Inquisition. 

spanflagOn the floor of the parliament, Spanish Minister of Justice Rafael Catala and Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo both declared that the historic decision is “repairing a 500-year injustice,” El Pais reported.

According to the law, the applicants would first need to prove their Sephardic background through either their local Jewish community or a direct family link. Authorities may also accept applicants with a Sephardic surname or the ability to speak Ladino, the Spanish-Hebrew hybrid language. Next, the applicants would need to show a special connection to Spain such as speaking Spanish, in addition to taking a basic test about the country.

The law is scheduled to take effect in October. Sephardic Jewish descendants in counties such as Venezuela and Turkey, who have faced rising levels of anti-Semitism and persecution in recent years, are seen as among those who are likely to apply for Spanish citizenship.

In a statement, the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain (FCJE) said the law began a “new stage in the history of the relationship between Spain and the Jewish world; a new period of encounter, dialogue, and harmony.”

“Contrary to what one might think, the descendants of those expelled not harbored feelings of hatred or resentment but rather the contrary, they cultivated a deep love for the land they were from and intense loyalty to tradition and language received of their elders,” FCJE added.



One Response to “Spanish parliament approves law granting citizenship to Sephardic Jews”
  1. harry rich says:

    This article is a much needed positive piece of news. My wife and I have just returned from a extended visit to Europe,a large part of which was spent in Spain. I had an opportunity to have conversations ( as much as my restricted Spanish would permit )with Spanish Jews. I was told that Jews is general did not have a feeling of fear as is the case in neighboring France, that the Government has a positive attitude to Jewish people and that the BDS movement is quite a weak force.

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