The Spanish government passed a correction to a law allowing the victims of the Spanish Inquisition nearly 500 years ago, which involved the explosion of nearly 80,000 Jews, allowing them to receive Spanish citizenship. Now over 3.5 million Jews all over the world will be able to request citizenship from the European Union country.
Over 3.5 million Sephardic Jews will be able to request Spanish citizenship. Photo Credit: thinkstock
Over 500 years later, justice is finally served to the Jews of Spain. The Spanish Inquisition, a policy established by the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492 which saw the explosion and murder of an estimated hundreds of thousands of Jews, will now be corrected with new legislation from the Spanish government, allowing ancestors of Sephardic Jews to request Spanish citizenship.
The correction to the Spanish law was passed in parliament last Friday, and outlined the conditions under which Sephardic Jews will be able request citizenship and receive a Spanish passport. One of the main conditions is that the applicants must prove a direct ancestral connection to one of the Jewish families that was murdered or evicted from Spain during the 15th century. A list has been printed up by the community of Sephardic Jews of which names will be considered during the application process. Another condition for receiving citizenship requires that applicants live in Spain for at least two years before submitting their request.
According to Spain’s Minister of Justice Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, “The law has deep historic value not only because it touches on the expulsion of Jews [during the Inquisition], but also because it reflects the open and pluralistic nature of Spanish society”.
Over 3.5 million Sephardic Jews whose ancestors were evicted from Spain during the Inquisition from all corners of the globe will be able to request citizenship in the European Union country if they are able to prove their ties to one of the historically evicted families. Spanish law does not usually permit dual citizenships, except for citizens of Andorra, Portugal and various Latin American countries.