Culture spokeswoman Marta Torrado of the Popular Parliamentary Group on Tuesday defended a motion by her group urging the government to give impetus to projects aimed at spreading the Hebrew-Sephardic cultural heritage to highlight its legacy as a part Indispensable of our identity.
The initiative of the Popular Party, which has been approved in the Committee on Culture by a majority, without any vote against and with the abstention of the PSOE, recalls two key events of recent years. On the one hand, the reunion of the two cultures sealed by the Kings of Spain in 1992, when the V Centenary of the expulsion of the Jews was commemorated and, on the other hand, Law 12/2015, in matters of the granting of nationality Spanish to the descendants of the Jews expelled 500 years ago.
Marta Torrado has stated that “Sephardic Jews have been authentic ambassadors of our country, of Sefarad, for over five centuries, a phenomenon that is not comparable in the world” and has assured that “its dispersion led to a cultural impoverishment from Spain”.
During her speech at the Commission, the popular senator recalled that it was in the mid-nineteenth century that the most liberal and progressive sectors related the Spanish decline with pressure exerted by religious intolerance. “It was then that the expulsion of the Jews in 1492 and its harmful consequences was put as the maximum exponent of the intolerance”, it has pointed out.
He also highlighted the impact of the war in Africa and the story of the soldiers who landed on those lands, who were surprised by the cheers with which they were hailed and received as true liberators.
Torrado also wanted to put in value that it was a senator, Angel Pulido, who for the first time brought to the Upper House, in 1903, the reality of the Sephardic Jews. It also highlighted the first agreement signed with Greece in 1916, thanks to which Spain took under its protection the Sephardic of Spanish origin.
Thanks to the agreement signed between Spain and Greece, the Sephardi were treated as nationals and it was established that in the case of disputes over them or their property, it was the Spanish diplomats in the Hellenic country who lent them assistance and defense.
According to the Culture spokesperson of the GPP, this treaty was “a crucial step” because from that moment the Sephardic of Spanish origin could obtain the Spanish passport, although it did not imply the recognition of the nationality.
Finally, Marta Torrado has emphasized the role played by figures such as Sanz Briz, Romero Radigales, Ruiz de Santaella, Julio Palencia, Rolland de Miota and Eduardo Propper, who contributed to save thousands of Jews from the camps. Nazi extermination and therefore are recognized as Righteous among the Nations in the World Center for Documentation and Commemoration of the Holocaust.