Monday, November 26, 2012

Fixing Past Wrongs - Sephradic Jews And Spain

From the NYT -

Spain announced Thursday that it would grant automatic citizenship to Jews of Sephardic descent as a further gesture of reconciliation after their ancestors were expelled more than five centuries ago. Sephardic Jews already benefit from a preferential naturalization procedure that requires them to live in Spain for only two years before claiming citizenship, but the change means that Jews will have to present only a certificate confirming their ancestry to claim a Spanish passport.

Its not clear to me how anyone can present a certificate "confirming their ancestry". I can only assume that they do not have to prove their ancestors were exiled five centuries ago, nor the purity of their descent. Assuming that you only have to prove some non Ashkenazic blood - I'm happy my children will be able to pick up their fourth passports.

However, there is actually a more interesting aspect to this story. I'm all for fixing past wrongs, but surely there must be some limit. It is especially troubling as Sephradic Jews really have no lost longing for Spain, or any cultural connection with modern Spain. Citizenship should involve some connection to a society, and not an historical anecdote.

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