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Spanish king honors expelled Jews

Spain’s King Felipe VI honors Sephardic Jews who were banished more than five centuries ago during the Inquisition, after a law allowing dual citizenship for their descendants came into force.

The legislation aims to correct what the Spanish government calls the “historic mistake” of the country’s monarchs Isabella and Ferdinand who in 1492 ordered Jews to convert to Catholicism or leave within the space of just weeks, under pain of death.

“Dear Sephardim, thank you for your loyalty,” the king tells representatives of Sephardic Jews from different countries, at the royal palace.

“Thank you for having kept like a precious treasure your language and your customs that are ours too. Thank you too for making love prevail over rancour and for teaching your children to love this country,” he says.

“How we have missed you.”

King Felipe VI of Spain delivers a speech at the Royal Palace in Madrid on November 30, 2015 during a ceremony to pay tribute to the Sephardic Jews, expelled from Spain in 1492 by the Catholic Kings (AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU)
King Felipe VI of Spain delivers a speech at the Royal Palace in Madrid on November 30, 2015 during a ceremony to pay tribute to the Sephardic Jews, expelled from Spain in 1492 by the Catholic Kings (AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU)

— AFP

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