Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The Spanish Sephardic Nationality Fantasy

A bizarre week of disinformation. Spain (again) says they will give citizenship to Sephardim. According to one Spanish source, we are yearning to be reunited with them. News to me.

A Spanish newspaper's unsourced claim that Sephardim were besieging Spanish diplomatic posts has been uncritically repeated by sources as august as El Pais and the FT. Various Ashkenazim and Mizrahim have been excitedly pontificating on the subject. Happily, this nonsense hasn't caused a ripple in Sephardic social media.

According to Spanish sources there are 3.5 million of us, which is three million more than I would have guessed (adding both Western and Eastern Sephardim - meaning Jews of Iberian origin). The Spanish figure excludes the estimated 17 million Brazilian non-Jews of Sephardic origin. Given than Portugal only has a population of 10 million, we might expect an interesting dialogue between the Iberian neighbours.

I suppose some Israeli and Turkish Sephardim might avail themselves of the opportunity of getting an EU passport, so they can settle in Britain or Germany. Why anyone would want to settle in a country as anti-Semitic as Spain escapes me, not to mention a Spanish GDP now lower than Israel's and horrendous levels of unemployment.

Several Muslims on Twitter have reasonably suggested that they too should be included in this Spanish fantasy. Some not very bright Spanish Tweeters see an evil Israeli conspiracy, but haven't explained why Israel would want their citizens to emigrate.

What most shocks is the Spanish Government's ignorance of their country's history. I think they should also explain WHY they believe they need to make restitution to people they have never harmed. And why are they involving us in their fantasy life?

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