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Spain to award citizenship to descendants of Sefarad | Comunidad Israelita de Alicante
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Spain to award citizenship to descendants of Sefarad

NPR (National Public Radio, US) story on the proposed Spanish law to award Spanish citizenship to descendants of Sefardim Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492 After 522 Years, Spain Seeks To Make Amends For Expulsion Of Jews.

El País has been following the story from the beginning, of course: La condición de sefardí dará derecho automático a la nacionalidad española,

“Según los datos aportados por Gallardón, hace unos años se cifraban en 250.000 las personas que hablan el judeoespañol, aunque hoy es difícil calcular las “numerosísimas” peticiones de nacionalidad que llegan al Ministerio de Justicia.” According to Gallardón, the interior minister, 250 thousand people spoke ladino a few years ago but the expect “a very large” number of applications – but nobody knows how many (November 2012).

In June 2014 El País wrote again Nadie sabe cuántos volverán a Sefarad …El Gobierno desconoce si serán miles o cientos de miles”– the government doesn’t know how many will come back to Sefarad, in the thousands or hundreds of thousands.

The is a link to a study by Joshua M. Weitz Let My People Go (Home) to Spain: A Genealogical Model of Jewish Identities since 1492  From the abstract: “…It would seem that this policy targets a small subset of the global Jewish population, that is, restricted to individuals who retain cultural practices associated with ancestral origins in Spain. However, the central contribution of this manuscript is to demonstrate how and why the policy is far more likely to apply to a very large fraction (i.e., the vast majority) of Jews…”

In an opinion piece Reyes Mates (El País 1 July 2014) writes: “Ahora bien, si la expulsión fue una injusticia, la España que emergió de aquella decisión, que es la nuestra, tiene los pies de barro. La deuda no se refiere sólo, por tanto, a los judíos —injusticia tanto mayor cuanto que los expulsados eran habitantes de la península Ibérica anteriores a los cristianos viejos que les expulsaban— sino a la España que pudo ser y de la que se privó a las generaciones siguientes.” If the expulsion was an injustice, the Spain that emerged from that decision has clay feet. The debt is not only towards the Jews – the injustice being only greater because the expelled population had inhabited the Iberian peninsula before the old Christians who expelled them – but towards a Spain which could have been and which the following generations were deprived.