Spain Approves Citizenship Path for Sephardic Jews. Any thoughts?
MADRID — Seeking to redress one of the darkest chapters of Spain’s history, the Spanish Parliament on Thursday approved a long-awaited law devised to open the way for citizenship for thousands of Sephardic Jews whose ancestors were expelled in 1492.
“This law says a lot about what we were in the past, what we are today and what we want to continue to be in the future — an open, diverse and tolerant Spain,” Rafael Catalá, the Spanish justice minister, told lawmakers on Thursday.
The law was first proposed by the Spanish government in 2012. Even before Thursday’s final ratification by Congress, the lower chamber of Parliament, the measure generated intense interest in countries like Argentina, Israel and Turkey, which have significant Sephardic communities.
- TNOLv 75 years agoFavorite Answer
I'm of partial Sephardic descent, and honestly I'm not even considering taking it. It's nothing against Spain, but rather I'm a proud American and don't have the incentive. I'll also disclose I'm more Ashkenazi Jewish and not quite sure if I qualify in the first place, though I'm pretty confident that I can at least confirm legitimate lineage if that's all that matters.
I'm a bit skeptical of it, especially given the state of the Spanish economy when first put through. It was in shambles, and I bet they did draw on the stereotype of the rich Jew in some way when coming up with this. Of course that wouldn't help everything but they were desperate for any help in 2012, and at least subconsciously allowed that to help pass the bill along. So the "diverse and tolerant" part might not be as true as they think. And, on that note, what about the descendants of the Moors? Granted, they'd likely overwhelm Spain as they're bigger in size, and would have more of an incentive than many Sephardic Jews to move there. But they're less educated and tend to be lower on the socioeconomic scale, come from less developed nations or communities, and are Muslim. It's not like they'd be attractive for Spain to draw as well, which might be a bigotry some aren't comfortable with.
Still, the Sephardim have a long memory which traces back to Spain. Many of our community do feel like we should have this connection, as our identity has remained constant for so long and many do feel that connection still. It's not surprising, given how many felt for Israel prior to 1948 or even today.
And, I do have to say it'll help in some areas where Jews are fleeing anti-Semitism, like Turkey. Turkish Jews are leaving that nation, and the population has noticeably dwindled. If families haven't already left, then young Turkish students are going abroad and NOT coming back. This would help many find a home that would tolerate them better, since Turkey is doing a bad job of it. Ditto for those in Morocco and Tunisia, since those Jewish communities are much smaller compared to what they used to be. Argentina and Israel will have applicants, but honestly it's not going to be many who go through with it and besides, many will still remain in their home nations nonetheless if they can.