Hot or not? Spain's citizenship bill

WATCH: Members of Israel's Sephardic community weigh in on Spain's recent bill to grant citizenship to Sephardic Jews.

February 11, 2014 16:08
1 minute read.
Jose Porcel Flamenco Dance Company.

Jose Porcel Flamenco Dance Company 370. (photo credit: courtesy pr)

Video by Reuters. Editing by Eli Mandelbaum.

Members of Israel's Sephardic community are reacting with mixed feelings to a recent draft bill passed by the Spanish government, to grant citizenship to Sephardic Jews around the world.

The law would allow descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled from the country in 1492 to seek Spanish nationality without giving up their current citizenship. To move the bill forward, it still has to be presented to Congress and to the Senate.

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Many in the Sephardic community see this as a positive step for Jewish relations with Spain, in light of Jewish history in the country, namely the Spanish Inquisition.

"We see it as a very important step in the bilateral relations and some justice," Head of the Council of the Sephardic Community in Jerusalem, Abraham Haim" told Reuters. "Yes, we don't have 100 percent of justice but, of course, it contributes to the bilateral relations especially to the attitude of the Sephardim." He said that moving forward, the bureaucratic and logistical procedures for obtaining citizenship will need to be specified.

One Jerusalem resident lauded the move, telling Reuters that "the time has come that after 500 years the descendants will receive a little of a little, and that is really a change for the better in the world for Jews overall." Another, however, said that while "it's very nice that they're granting citizenship 500 years later," this does not "do away with" the lives lost and a tumultuous Jewish history in Spain spanning 500 years.

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