In the second podcast this week,attorney Maya Weiss-Tamir, who is also an
economist and a mediator, speaks about new legislation allowing the
descendants of the Jews expelled from Spain by the Inquisition to claim
Spanish citizenship. What are the benefits of Spanish citizenship, and how
can you claim it? Find out more by listening to this week’s Goldstein on
Posts Tagged ‘Spain’
In the second podcast this week,attorney Maya Weiss-Tamir, who is also an
France, Italy and Spain issued warnings to their citizens against doing business with Jews who live in “unacceptable” sections of Israel.
In Paris, rather than attempt to tackle a wave of Judeophobia unseen since the Vichy government collaborated with the Nazis, the foreign ministry is now pushing French investors and businesspeople not to invest, buy land or do business in Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem or the Golan Heights.
A statement on the foreign ministry’s website advises against investing, purchasing land, or engaging in economic activity in the these territories.
“We call upon citizens or business people who are considering becoming involved in economic activity in the settlements to seek appropriate legal advice before going ahead,” said the foreign ministry statement, according to a translation from the French published on the European Jewish Press website.
EJP quoted a French diplomat, who said the announcement is part of a coordinated effort by Europe’s largest countries — Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Spain — to curtail economic cooperation with Jews who “provoke” Arab violence by living in Hebron, Shilo and the Mount of Olives. In the land of the Inquisition, the Spanish foreign ministry said Judea and Samaria Jews “constitute an obstacle to peace.”
“The potential buyers and investors should know that a future peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians or between Israel and Syria could have consequences both for properties acquired and for economic activities promoted in said settlements. In case of litigation, it could be very difficult for member states to guarantee the protection of their interests,” the Spanish statement said.
However, Madrid quickly clarified that the European boycott does not extend to “acceptable” Jewsish communities such as Tel Aviv and Ranana.
“The statement is not intended as a call for a boycott in any way, or to limit economic cooperation between Spain and Israel within its internationally-recognized borders,” Carlos Entrena Moratiel, a government spokesman, told JTA.
Spain will crown its new king, Felipe VI, in a quiet but dignified ceremony later today (Thursday).
The new monarch is to be sworn in after his father, Juan Carlos, abdicated earlier this month.
The elder king decided to leave his throne on the heels of a series of scandals that rocked the nation and raised questions about the future of Spanish royalty.
In a surprise announcement, King Carlos of Spain has told his prime minister he is abdicating in favor of his son, Prince Felipe.
The announcement was made Monday by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. “His majesty, King Juan Carlos, has just communicated to me his will to give up the throne,” he said. “I’m convinced this is the best moment for change.”
The 76-year-old Spanish monarch, whose health is failing, has led his people for 40 years from the throne. Rajoy said he is stepping down for personal reasons.
A 15th century mikveh was discovered at the location of the last synagogue in the old Jewish quarter of Girona in Catalonia, Spain.
The discovery of the Jewish ritual bath is significant since there are very few preserved mikvehs left in Europe, and it further highlights the importance of Girona’s rich Jewish heritage.
Girona is a town near Barcelona which was known for its thriving Jewish community before the expulsion of Spain’s Jews in 1492.
A recent archeological dig permitted the discovery of the mikveh at the site of the synagogue, which was founded in 1435 and abandoned in the summer of 1492, when the expulsion decree was carried out by King Fernando against the Jews of Spain .
It forced the community of Girona, consisting of about 20 families, to sell the synagogue along with the surrounding community spaces before fleeing the country. Thanks to records of the sale, the exact location of the synagogue, which now houses the Museum of Jewish History in Girona, is known.
Israeli ambassador to Spain Alon Bar attended the public presentation of the finding, along with the Minister of Culture of the Government of Catalonia Ferran Mascarell, and Girona Mayor Carles Puigdemont.
“I commend the discovery of more evidence of a Jewish presence and want to encourage this cultural treasure in order to maintain links between our peoples,” said Bar.
According to officials at the museum in Girona, very few ritual baths of this type have been preserved in Europe and in the Mediterranean area; they have been found in Sicily, Montpellier, and Besalu which is also in Catalonia.
Spain’s ruling People’s Party recently submitted a proposed amendment to the education law that would make Holocaust studies obligatory for Spanish students.
If passed, the proposed amendment would introduce the genocide of Jews by Nazi Germany into the curriculum “at various stages of basic education,” the Spanish news agency Europa Press reported Thursday.
The proposed amendment to the Organic Act for the Improvement of Educational Quality is part of a wider effort to include more materials that pertain to the prevention and peaceful resolution of conflicts and values underpinning democracy and human rights, Europa Press reported.
The president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, Isaac Querub, said the proposal “certainly represents progress,” but added that the federation would have liked to see a “more comprehensive amendment, explaining the general history of the Jewish people.”
“Unless the Holocaust is contextualized, it will give a distorted image of the history of the Jewish people,” he said.
I appreciate the fact that this Jewish publication was willing to publish my article. I’m not sure how easy it would be for a Jewish pundit to get his or her work published in a Turkish, Egyptian or Iranian magazine. I believe it’s high time someone gave it a try.
History buffs among us know all too well that the best time for Jews over the past two millennia—ever since they were overcome by the force of the Roman empire following two bloody rebellions—was under the rule of the Arab caliphates, both in Spain and in North Africa. So much so, that Jewish sources refer to that time as “The golden age.”
The various Muslim caliphates, which began ruling a very large chunk of the known world in the 7th and 8th centuries, were driven by a single, fundamental, religious mission: to spread Islam. But their agenda for the pagans populating Asia, Africa and Europe was different from their agenda for the “peoples of the book,” followers of Christianity and Judaism. While, most often, the heathens were given no choice about conversion: you became Muslim or you died – Christians and Jews who refused to convert to Islam only had to endure a kind of second class citizenship, with different features in different locales.
It would be helpful to recall that while Jews in Muslim territories at the time were forced to wear articles of clothing that set them apart, and were forbidden to ride horses or use the main public sidewalks—a few miles up north, in Christian Europe, they were being raped, pillaged and burned alive on a steady basis. And while in Christian Europe Jews were blocked from most of the professions, under the caliphates their economic options were much more exciting, hence the term “golden age.”
While Jewish culture in Christian Europe centered almost strictly around the houses of study, with little evidence of a robust culture, in Spain and North Africa the Jews wrote songs and books of philosophy, and excelled as military generals and court politicians—in addition to their flourishing business as traders and bankers.
It is true that Islam had its low point even during that golden age, and every once in a while the mainstream in various provinces—for a variety of geopolitical and social reasons—would take on an ominous spirit of fanaticism and start harassing the “peoples of the books” with fanatical impatience and zeal, threatening their lives unless they converted. But even those waves of fanaticism are dwarfed by the pogroms and expulsions that marked the lives of Jews under Christian rule.
Indeed, the demise of the thriving Jewish culture in Spain came not under Muslim rule, but only after the Christian invasion of the late 1300s, which ended with the expelling of all the Jews of Spain and Portugal in 1492.
What followed was particularly grim for Islam. Just as the original Muslim invasion of the Middle East, North Africa and Southern Europe was enabled by the decline of the Roman Empire, so did was decline of the Caliphate an invitation to a new force, the great Ottoman Empire, to quickly overtake those same areas, and to push far north into Central Europe, only to be blocked, finally, at the gates of Vienna.
But something went wrong in Muslim history at that point. Historians will continue to argue over the precise reasons – the reality is that sometime around the Renaissance period, while Christian Europe began to emerge from its barbarism, to usher in an age of discoveries, inventions and the rise of the human spirit—at a high cost to many indigenous peoples on several continents—Islam began its sad and disheartening decline that set aside Muslims in general and Arabs in particular as the second class citizens of a developing world. Instead of setting the tone in science and scholarship, as it used to do in the middle ages, Islam was relegated to the position of a spectator in a game it could not hope to win.
We have a big problem with cognitive dissonance in most Arab countries, which are trying to be simultaneously Muslim and modern. By “modern” I mean doing all the things a normal Western society takes for granted: publishing books, making movies, starting businesses, dining in restaurants, driving cars, writing laws to serve the community, delivering state services. Every single one of these aspects of your life which you take for granted represent a potential clash with Islam.