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November 26, 2014 2:10 am

Don’t Fall Into Spain’s Jew Trap

avatar by Boaz Vilallonga

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A statue of Maimonides at the synagogue in the Juderia in Córdoba, Spain. Photo: Irvina Lew.

The Spanish parliament recently approved a resolution recognizing a Palestinian State by an overwhelming majority, and with heated debates regarding Israeli “occupation.” The expedited treatment that this resolution received contrasts with the treatment expected for the bill on Spanish citizenship for Sephardi Jews, which should be receiving its final approval at the end of this year.

The bill for the naturalization of Sephardi Jews has been received with great enthusiasm. The historic reparation for the expulsion of the Jews in 1492 is much welcomed by the Jewish community in Spain, which has officially endorsed and praised the new bill. Spanish embassies all over the world, especially in Israel and Brazil, have received more than 40,000 applications for naturalization. Spanish citizenship opens the door to a passport from the European Union, with all its rights. But the law was only approved by the Spanish Council of Ministers last June, and it has now to be submitted to the Spanish parliament.

The new bill, however, presents dubious, even dangerous, features.

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The Spanish Government does not expect to amend historical injustices and crimes against Sephardi Jews. Its intentions are directed toward building a favorable opinion among international Jewry. This purpose notwithstanding, the practical goal of the Spanish government is to attract new immigrants with high income and new resources for a nation hit by the economic crisis. For this reason, the Spanish government has tailored a bill in which the requirements for naturalization may include Ashkenazi Jews who possess knowledge of Spanish culture and language.

The new bill requires a Spanish-language test. This test is going to be similar to other tests required for naturalization. One may ask, however: if the new bill represents a historic restitution for the crimes committed in the past, why did the Spanish government have to set up requirements? The language requirement has been strategically designed to interfere with the restitutive nature of the bill. In the end, the Spanish reparation is a poisoned gift that does not treat Sephardi Jews justly.

Indeed, the bill is an example of how restitution to the descendants of Spanish Jews can turn into discrimination against the Jews through the identity wars that plague Spanish politics. In article 1.1, section C, the new bill stipulates as a requirement to citizenship that applicants provide a marriage certificate – ketubah – according to the Castilian traditions. Castilian traditions, however, are not the only Jewish traditions preserved among Sephardi Jews. Spain is an aggregate of historical kingdoms and medieval nations, which include Castile, Aragon and Andalusia. Catalan-Aragonese Jews had different Jewish traditions, and they founded separate communities after the expulsion in 1492. An analogous situation applies to Andalusian Jews, who were under Muslim rule in Southern Spain until the fifteenth century.

The fact that the bill requires a minimum knowledge of the Spanish language also represents a form of discrimination. But, which Spanish language? Castilian, Catalan, Basque, or Galician? In general, Spanish law assumes that the Spanish language is Castilian – the only Spanish language with official recognition at the national level.

The Spanish press has repeatedly stated that Jews have great interest in the bill in order to correct a historic discrimination. In fact, as most of the news on this topic demonstrates, prospective applicants have shown a practical interest in Spanish citizenship. Many Brazilians with Jewish origins as well as Israeli citizens see an opportunity to access the benefits of EU citizenship and its passport, with full working rights within the European Union. Sephardi Jews have, however, not shown an interest in moving back to Spain, a country with strong cultural anti-Semitism.

If Spain had a real interest in restituting the descendants of its historic discrimination, this country would have prepared an inclusive bill, covering not only the Jews, but also the historic Spanish Muslim population, known as the Moriscos or Andalusians, who were expelled in the early seventeenth century.

The Spanish government has clearly articulated why the Jews alone were included in the bill. Juan Bravo, the Spanish Vice-Secretary of Justice, stated this summer: “[The Jews] have preserved the identity traits that recall their Spanish condition; the Moriscos were assimilated into their new cultures after the expulsion. The Moriscos disappeared as a community with a common origin. The new bill is rewarding not the expulsion itself, but the ability to preserve links with Spain and Spanish culture.”

This statement greatly clarifies Spain’s intentions: the new bill is a reward for Sephardi Jews who maintained a hypothetical Spanish culture after the expulsion in 1492. The bill has no restitutive character. There is no reparation, neither for the Jews, nor the Moriscos: the bill rewards Sephardi Jews because they preserved gentile cultural traits in their exile. According to the mentality of the Spanish government, a historic reparation needs to be useful for the sake of national identity – the most important Spanish obsession. The Moriscos still represent a menace to Spanish identity. The Muslims are viewed as fearless invaders who conquered the territory in 711 that Spain constitutes today.

The Jews, in contrast, do not represent a real menace to Spanish identity, even after four centuries of Inquisition, evil representations of the perfidious Jew, and paranoid processes of limpieza de sangre (purity of blood). Anti-Semitism still pervades Spanish society and culture, and anti-Zionism fuels new anti-Semitic demonstrations, as in other European countries. Nonetheless, the affluence of the Jew sets new, practical solutions to self-serving restitution.

Sephardi Jews, as well as Jews in general, must lose the fear of opposing insincere legal restitutions. The bill provides shameful rewards to Jews for preserving gentile cultures that may serve Spain’s nationalistic agendas. Spain is rife with anti-Semitism, and its political institutions threaten Israel’s existence. This is the Spanish trap for the Jew.

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  • Alien Wanderer

    My comment is awaiting moderation and I have been there and back again and what is this Earth term “moderation” ?

  • Sten

    There is no reason why conquerors, “Moriscos,” should be reinstated. There is grounds for peaceful people who had been citizens of Spain for at least 500 years to be reinstated, however.

    • Jerry

      The whole thing is surreal. There is no reason why any people should get the Spanish citizenship based on events that happened 500 years ago. And yes, the expulsion of the jews from Spain was a crime.

  • Jack

    Still, the part about not fearing odious law is applicable to all levels of the current situation, and has been since the start– with the founding of Israel.
    You can’t be free if you allow odious regulation or laws to flounder your life upon it’s treacherous rocks!
    Where are you going to get in life if you don’t confront your fears!
    Be rational, identify your problems, deal with them, and be done.
    All this endless kvetching for no purpose does nothing.
    Besides, who really thinks this changes the environment in Spain for Jews or anyone else?

  • steven L

    Spain wants the Yiddishe kopf and their money and NOTHING else.

  • KRIS KRISTIAN

    JUST AS THE MUSLIMS WOULD LIKE TO MURDER EVERY JEW, IT IS TIME FOR ISLAM TO DISAPPEAR.
    tHE JEWS HAVE GIVEN THE WORLD THE GREATEST GIFT. GOD.
    GOD WILL PROTECT THE JEWS FROM RADICAL ISLAM AND OTHER HATERS.
    ISRAEL WILL BE AROUND LOG AFTER GOD DESTROYS THEM AND EVERY JEW HATER.
    THE JEWS ARE GOD’S APPLE OF HIS EYE.

    GOD WILL CARRY OUT HIST THREAT TO THOSE WHO CURSE JEWS AND ISRAEL.

    • steven L

      That is the fundamental reason of the hate of the Iranian fanatical mullahs towards the Jews and Judaism. The intense fear that Judaism is real and can annihilate Islam!!!

  • anarchyst

    …don’t do it! Don’t allow them in your country. The downside to jewish emigration to Spain is that they will demand that their own separate society and culture be recognized and deferred to while pushing the dual poisons of “multiculturalism” and “diversity” for every one else but themselves. Jews will insist on keeping their culture “pure” while pushing massive third-world immigration, as they have done in every country they have managed to seize the levers of power in…jewish interests are destroying native cultures and replacing them with the false doctrines of “multiculturalism” and “diversity”–again FOR EVERYONE ELSE BUT THEMSELVES.
    I repeat my warning to Spain–don’t do it!

    • shloime

      jerk. go back to humping your beloved camels.

  • Its not by accident that the Jews have been expelled from more than 120 cities in Europe in the last millennium. They have not been expelled for being good people but on the other way around for being evil and the reason the Jews are hated is because of the same reason. Now don’t tell me that Spain is setting a trap to these beings, if they do not like Spain just do not even try to go there.

    • shloime

      jealousy. which lives on in jew-baiters like you.

  • Ostend

    Tell me plaese? Are the ‘Sephardic Jews’,interested in being “Spanish”,or “Europeans”,while ‘righting the wrongs’,or being Israelis first/

    • Mu

      Jews would certainly contribute to European society in ways that that the “Real” Europeans only wish their Muslim “co-patriots” would. When was the last time Jews bombed a bus, subway, restaurant, school in Europe? None. Jews will bring capital, innovation and a love of education, art and life. The “North Africans” have brought death, welfare, exclusion and pita shops.

  • manley

    My opinion, without knowing the facts, conditions imposed, etc., I think for many, acquiring Spanish citizenship maybe advantageous. They’re not obliged to remain in Spain. My own experience living and raising a family in Spain during the mid ’50s through the ’80s was a pleasant and formative experience. It was widely know that I was Jewish and I never hid that fact. I personally never experienced anti-Semitism although I was well aware of the ingrained anti-Semitism in the culture. Many European nations are also anti-Semitic.

  • Michael

    Hey Boaz, Basque is not a Spanish language. It probably came from North Western India, rather like Gypsy.

  • aslan

    Catchy heading but not convincing at all, I have to say. You fail to clarify who or which princple gets hurt with a foreign jew, learning the spanish language and enjoying EU citizenship rights, keeping his current citizenship. There is anti-semitizm in Spain , is there ? So what ? It exist everywhere in Europe and the World. What better way to fight that from within, rather than without ?

  • Eric R.

    Spain is a hopeless sewer of Jew-hatred. First it was the Catholic Church, then the Fascists of Franco, now the left. No matter who runs Spain, no matter where they are on the political spectrum, the country is full of filthy (National) Socialist scum.

    The one magnificent exception to this in public life – former PM Jose Maria Aznar.

    • Eric. R. If the Jews are hated in the hole world is because there is a reason for it. They do not behave like human beings, look at what they are doing in Palestine despite the opposition of the whole world, look what they have done to Gaza a few weeks ago and Israel did 9/11 with the complicity of the Jew controlled Washington etc..

      • shloime

        you can’t even spell “whole”, so who cares about your stinking, hate-filled opinion? troll!

    • Robert Davis

      General Franco was NOT antisemit. In fact he saved many jews leaving germany heading to spain. In fact franco’s origin was Jewish. However yes many spaniards are antisemit and anti everything…they are an arrogant lot! As many if not most(?) europeans they fear Israel and do not want a strong Israel.

      • Arnau F.

        The legends states that Generalíssimo Franco asked to enter freemasonry, and when they rejected him, he banned and persecuted the Institution (not legalized again in spain until the early eighties) and killed its members. Now you say he was from jewish origin? That could explain his reminders about the “judeo-masonic-communist conspiration” attacking the Spanish Nation…

        Generalissimo did absolutely nothing to save one single jew in Spain or anywhere in the world. There were lots of Spanish diplomats who moved things and got the papers, without any help from anyone. It wass all those diplomats all around the world, not the Generalisimo.

    • steven L

      Like Raoul Wallenberg for Sweden. The exception confirming the rule. Soon or later the Swedish people will wake-up with a major headache. Their successive governments are committing treason against the Swedish people. Not much different from what is going on in Belgium and Holland.

  • David L. Rosenthal

    I do not pretend to know the facts, but when I hear that Spain offers something like this, under the circumstances, the first thing that comes to mind is that Jews returning to Spain brings them one step closer to returning to Israel. And while that might be a good thing, it is also in line with radical Islamic thinking. According to what I have heard from more than one radical Muslim, Jews returning to Israel is a good thing, since it brings together the Jews into one place in which it would be easier to exterminate them, rather than to have to search them out in different places around the globe. I guess radical Muslims must be grateful to Spain for facilitating their life’s work.

    • Sami Joseph

      What a load of baloney! The Palestinians want those who are not indigenous to get the hell out Palestine, period!

      • shloime

        the “palestinians” who were invented in 1963, by cairo-born yasser arafat? indigenous my ass!

      • toc toc. Anybody there?

        You know what the word “Palestinian” comes from? Ancient Hebrew. It means “the invaders”. Now guess again who is the non-indigenous to “Palestine”???

    • Robert Davis

      What radicalmuslims say is of no importance : did you not notice they LIE all the time? they only say what suits them and their arrogance! In fact muslims FEAR Israel and know Israel can wipe out islam.

      • shloime

        nonsense. there are a billion moslems. and why would israel WANT to wipe out islam? it’s only the crazy arabs (and their supporters) who advocate genocide. the same bozos who claim that israel is destroying the faux-palestinians, ignore the fact that each of syria, jordan, and lebanon have killed more “palestinians” than israel has.

    • I am amazed that people still repeat such utter hogwash, Mr. Rosenthal, but then, your name is a tad telling.

      Absolute hogwash. Thank you for being proof of the paranoia so deeply rooted amongst the International Jews.

    • Alien Wanderer

      I stand in my shoes and I wonder

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