As Spain Grants Exiled Jews Citizenship, Some Muslims Demand Return to ‘Al-Andalus’

June 17, 2015

3 min read

Phyllis Chesler

The Spanish government is  offering citizenship to the descendants of formerly exiled Spanish Jews. No longer will such Jews actually have to travel to Spain; they need only “hire a Spanish notary and pass tests on the Spanish language and history.”

With Spain’s Jews offered a right to return, now Muslims are also demanding the same. Indeed, Morisco-Moroccan journalist, Ahmed Bensalh, has argued that the departure of Muslims who left for Muslim North Africa, and who now number up to five million, amounts to “flagrant segregation and unquestionable discrimination.”

Other Muslim journalists are demanding that Spain treat Muslims just as they are now willing to treat Jews. Jamal Bin Ammar al-Ahmar has written directly to the Spanish Monarch demanding an apology and a “full legal and historical investigation of the war crimes that were perpetrated on the Muslim population of Andalusia by the French, English, European, and papal crusaders.”

Outrageous, clever, typical. The Muslims had occupied Spain as invaders. They were expelled to end their occupation. Jose Ribeiro e Castro, one of the Portuguese lawmakers “who drafted Portugal’s law of return for Sephardic Jews, puts it this way: ‘Persecution of Jews was just that, while what happened with the Arabs was part of a conflict. There is no basis for comparison.’”

The timing for such calls raises questions; Spain has been very much on the mind of Jihadists. They call it “Al-Andalus” and it is a region and a country that Muslims conquered, ruled, and thrived in from 711-1492. The final expulsion of Muslims from Granada did not take place until 1609.

On March 11, 2004, Al Qaeda bombed four trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and wounding 1,800 more. Al Qaeda claimed they did so in order to punish Spain for having supported the war in Iraq. On March 15th, the Spanish people voted in the Socialist Worker’s Party, headed by Prime Minister Jose-Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. Perhaps the Spaniards viewed this as a way of appeasing the Muslim/Islamist “street.”

In 2011, the socialists were voted out of power. They were defeated by a center-right party, Partido Popular, headed by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy—a man who had served in several ministerial positions between 1996 and 2004. On his watch, the bill to “repatriate” the descendants of formerly exiled Spanish Jews began to wind its way through the legislature.

Predictably, the United Left and Basque National Party opposed the law, arguing “that it discriminates against non-Jews who were expelled during the Inquisition, including Muslims.”

Are Sephardic Jews likely to move to Spain? Namely, will the Jews under siege in other European countries (think France, Holland, England, and Germany), in Central Asia (think Turkey) or in South America (think Argentina) choose refuge there or in Portugal? Should they?

Israeli (Ashkenazi and Sephardi) Jews are, by nature and history, world travelers. Many have moved to Europe, especially to Germany for business and cultural interests. Germany has an outstanding record in terms of trying to combat Jew hatred and teaching the truth about the Holocaust.

Does Spain have a comparable record? Is the Inquisition and the Holocaust taught in school? Is the Muslim invasion of Spain taught? Is there a basis upon which Jews can decide whether or not they should move to Spain?

According to a 2012 poll, 72% of Spanish citizens believe that “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country”; 67% believe “that Jews have too much power in the financial world;” 60% believe that “Jews have too much power in the business world;” and 47% believe that “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust.”

In contrast, 49% of those polled in 2014, “held favorable views of Muslims.” Left-right differences also existed: only 38% of Spain’s leftists as compared to 54% of Spain’s right wing held any unfavorable views of Muslims.

Perhaps it is a small thing, but on May 15, 2015, Spanish singer Marinah pulled out of the upcoming June music festivals in Ashdod and Tel Aviv. Marinah’s concert was part of the Idan Raichel Project, where the Portuguese António Zambujo is also scheduled to perform. She followed BDS reasoning as too many misguided artists do.

The BDS movement has claimed victory, since “The Festival Méditerranée of Ashdod is a clear example of how Israel uses culture to whitewash its image and show itself to the world as a modern and open-minded country, hiding its occupation, colonization and apartheid policies. By giving an image of multiculturalism and tolerance, this festival is covering up the Zionist colonizing machine, and is trying to show Israel as a ‘normal’ country.”

This propaganda is sheer madness—but a huge number of people believe it and are not open to facts or reason.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Breitbart

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