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The parliament of Portugal is scheduled to vote on whether to naturalize descendants of 16th-century Jews who fled the country because of religious persecution.
The motion will be brought to a first reading on Thursday by Portugal’s Socialist Party and is expected to pass, as it has the support of the ruling Social Democratic Party, according to Jose Oulman Carp, president of Portugal’s Jewish community. Together the parties hold 80 percent of the Portuguese parliament’s 230 seats.
Carp called the motion “a huge development” and told JTA it proposes to give Portuguese citizenship to descendants of the Portuguese Inquisition, which began in 1536 and resulted in the expulsion of tens of thousands of people and the forced conversion into Christianity of countless others.
Portugal had a Jewish population of about 400,000, many of them refugees from neighboring Spain, where the Inquisition started in 1492. Spanish lawmakers are said to be drafting a similar motion.
“There is no way of knowing for certain how many people would become eligible for Portuguese citizenship if the law passes, and there is no bureaucratic system yet for vetting applications — all of that will have to come later,” said Carp, who has lobbied for the bill for several years.
Carp is hoping the measure will help attract new members to the country’s Jewish community of 1,000 to 1,500. The community would be involved in reviewing applications, he said. Many Portuguese refugees of the Inquisition settled in Turkey.
Popular support for the motion stems from a desire to “make amends” for a dark historical chapter in Portugal – a country that Carp describes as being “virtually free of anti-Semitism.” Some also hope the law would attract investments by Jews seeking to settle in Portugal, one of the European Union’s most vulnerable economies.
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That’s it. If you didn’t register your party by now, you’re not running for the upcoming Knesset elections.
Simultaneous explosions in Egypt killed and wounded dozens Thursday night.
National religious voters favoring the new Yachad party headed by Eli Yishai may be wasting their votes.
Locked in Auschwitz, their cries for assistance were not heard, so they escaped through an open window, setting off an alarm.
Hezbollah is a terrorist group and terrorist party, but most and worst of all, it is a huge and powerful army.
Lieberman’s issues a disproportionate response to polls that show his party will barely squeeze into the Knesset.
Boehner criticized President Obama for failing to take the threat of terrorism and the Iranian nuclear threat seriously.
US Treasury Secy Jack Lew contends that French Jews really want to stay in France. They just want to be safe too.
It is also still not clear whether the main issue of the election will be security or economics.
El-Sisi has embarked on an ambitious plan to destroy Hamas’s tunnel infrastructure underneath the Egyptian-Gaza border.
Israeli food makers are getting nervous about Israeli taste buds being Americanized.
Now the Secret Service needs a device to disable drunken government workers who fly drones at 1600 Pennsylvania.
PM Binyamin Netanyahu warns at a memorial for late PM Ariel Sharon that Iran has already begun its war against Israel.
“Not wanting to stir things up in the north” means “Yes, we could bomb them to kingdom come, but. no, we won’t.”
More than 20 cars and buildings in a Jewish community in north London were vandalized with swastikas. The Nazi symbol was drawn on approximately 27 cars in the Osbaldeston Road area of Stoke Newington on Sunday night, The Daily Mail reported. An unnamed 32-year-old man was arrested in connection with the vandalism Tuesday. The neighborhood […]
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind called on the Jewish community to attend the funeral of an assassinated New York police officer. “The brave men and women of the NYPD risk their lives every day to protect us. We value them and stand with them,” Hikind, a Democrat who represents Brooklyn, said in a statement […]
“Move Jew” scrawled on a Philadelphia home and slurs written on a synagogue and 10 garages in Chicago.
Cuba has “the largest pool of untapped baseball talent in the world, and Major League Baseball may tap and leave Cuba dry.
Argentina’s president Christina Fernandez has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history to help counter legend of death to a seventh son. She described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family. He was adopted as a godson under a […]
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