The Spanish government has indicated that it will offer Spanish passports to individuals of Spanish Jewish/Sephardic heritage. The ostensible motive for this gesture is the desire to redress a historic sin: Spain’s expulsion of Jews in 1492. Now, more than five centuries after this nefarious expulsion, Spain wishes to reach out to descendants of those Jewish victims and welcome them back “home” in Spain.
Some have praised Spain’s gesture of atonement. Others, though, have seen this new policy as a pragmatic move by Spain to attract Jewish business, investment and tourism.
Among Jews, some have been genuinely pleased with this show of Spanish friendship and reconciliation. Others have seen this as an opportunity to gain access to European markets and business.