Spain called, it wants its Jews back. But really. A proposed new law, which is awaiting approval from the Spanish parliament, would allow descendants of Sephardic Jews who were expelled in 1492 during the Spanish Inquisition to seek dual Spanish nationality. Slate reports that the bill amends a 2012 initiative which granted Spanish citizenship to some eligible Sephardic Jews, but on the condition that they relinquish their citizenships in other countries.
According to the Financial Times, 3.5 million Sephardic Jews would be entitled to claim Spanish citizenship under the new law. This offer of dual citizenship is quite rare, with Spanish Law previously only permitting people from neighboring Andorra and Portugal or former colonies in Latin America to obtain dual citizenship.
Spanish Justice Minster Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón said that applicants do not have to be Jewish, emphasizing that anyone of Spanish heritage would be able to apply for dual citizenship under the new law. Still, with Spain’s once-thriving Jewish community now numbering at less than 50,000 people—one of the smallest Jewish communities in the European Union—this gesture will likely have the largest impact on Jews of Spanish descent, both symbolically and practically.
Will you be applying for Spanish citizenship if the law passes?
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Lily Wilf is an editorial intern at Tablet.