Spain Passes Law Granting ‘Right to Return’ to Jews

ICEJ NEWS REPORTS: jews-ukraine
Spain passes law granting ‘right of return’ to Jews
The Spanish government passed a law Thursday afternoon granting citizenship to the descendents of Jews who were expelled from the country in 1492. The majority of “Shephardim” Jews who left the Iberian Peninsula in that year migrated to North Africa and the Middle East, but experts expect most of the applicants to come from Venezuela and Turkey. “We are happy to live this historic moment,” David Hatchwell Altaras, the president of the Jewish community of Madrid and vice president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain (FCJE), told The Jerusalem Post. “While the law is not perfect, it is a great gesture and it is a step in the right direction for a better and deeper relationship between Spain and its Jews. It shows what the new Spain is all about.”

In related news, a court in the Spanish capital of Madrid has put aside a five-year-old investigation into the May 2010, Mavi Marmara flotilla incident which saw Palestinian and international activists attempt to run the blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Despite Spain’s so-called “Universal Jurisdiction” laws which allow it to investigate incidents anywhere in the world, a recent law stipulated that there must be a connection to Spanish citizens or interests. The court ruled that although it is putting the case aside for now, it could be re-opened if the Israeli officials named in the complaint ever visit Spain.

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