File this one under totally bonkers decisions made by politicians
: at a time when the EU is struggling more than ever to cope with the enormous influx of migrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East, those smart people who run the governments of Portugal
have decided that now is the right moment in history to offer citizenship to anyone in the world who can prove that they are the descendants of Sephardic Jews.
It is not stated what standard of documentary proof these governments will accept as evidence going back 500 years, given that modern systems of civil registration generally only started in the 1800's. You would think that the document forgers are going to be very busy...
This move is intended to "right the historical wrongs"
of more than 500 years ago
when the Jewish populations of Spain and Portugal were forced into exile unless they converted to Catholicism. According to a report in The Guardian
(see link below), the law changes have already resulted in an 80-fold increase in the number of British Sephardic Jews applying for Portuguese citizenship since the Brexit result. It also quotes someone as saying that Sephardic Jews living in Turkey
are now applying in their "hundreds and thousands"
for citizenship of these two EU countries. The reason that most are applying for Portuguese citizenship rather than Spanish is because there is no requirement for those Jews applying for Portuguese citizenship to have to speak Portuguese, whereas the equivalent Spanish legislation requires applicants to speak Spanish. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/31/brexit-vote-rush-british-jews-portuguese-passports
Although the report does not say as much, my own suspicion is that these seemingly crazy law changes might have something to do with the strength of the Israel lobby in the west, because it is hard to imagine that these governments would have voluntarily changed their laws for the benefit of just one particular religious sect at the expense of all others unless a powerful and asset-rich group of people offered them some particularly good financial incentives to do so.
The decision is totally unjustified because it encourages every other race of people in the world to start opening up their ancient history books afresh and checking whether their own ancestors might also have been the victims of pogroms by countries that are now quite wealthy and maybe Members of the EU. If Jews who were mistreated more than 500 years ago in Spain or Portugal (EU Members) are now entitled to jump the huge queue of migrants heading to these two countries, then what about all those other races who were likewise mistreated half a millennium ago or more by Spain, Portugal, or any other western state? I seem to recall that the Spanish handed out pretty much the same treatment 500+ years ago to their substantial muslim
population. I cannot understand why only the Jews of the world have been given the right to return to Spain 500 years later, but not the muslims. It smacks of unfairness and discrimination. Quite simply, the Jews of the world should not
have been invited to take up Spanish and Portuguese citizenship as it will only result in a hardening of anti-Jewish sentiment, both inside and outside Spain and Portugal.
I have filed this one on the Israel thread, which I think is quite appropriate because 2017 marks the sad centenary of Britain starting it all off when it was persuaded by a similarly bonkers idea of a small but powerful group of British Jewish lobbyists to create a dedicated homeland for the Jews in Palestine - a country which was not even a part of the British Empire. The main argument of the Zionists a hundred years ago was based on the fact that in the ancient time of the bible, the Jews lived in Palestine and therefore had undeniable rights to go back in the 20th Century and claim the land as their own from the native Palestinians - a couple of millennia later! Now we're told that they also have undeniable rights to return to Spain and Portugal, because some of them later moved there before being kicked out! Where does this argument end?
We had no right back then to impose a Jewish homeland on the Palestinians without their consent and Spain and Portugal have no right today to give preference to Sephardic Jews over any other race of people who want to migrate to their countries - yet politicians still end up being persuaded that these things are a good idea when enough material incentives are placed right in front of their noses ...