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Iberian Peninsula

  • In Ironic Twist of History, Spain Now Attracting Argentine Jews

    It was standing room only in the B’nai Brith office that Madrid’s tiny, rabbi-less Conservative synagogue uses for its Kabbalat Shabbat services. After concluding prayers on a recent Friday night, Bet El’s congregation remained seated to talk about reports that tens of thousands of Argentine Jews — most of them members of the Conservative movement… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World As Far As Jewish Past Goes, Reconciliation is the Word in Spain

    “Sepharad is your home.” Those soothing, welcoming words were pleasant to hear, especially from a non-Jewish Spanish official, the head of tourism in the small town of Castello d’Empuries in Catalonia in Spain’s northeastern corner. “Spain is your home,” the official had said, using the Hebrew word “Sepharad,” a symbolic reminder that 500 years of… More ▸

  • Spain Removes an Obstacle in Path of Israel’s Membership in U.N. Group

    Israel came a step closer to full participation at the United Nations when Spain dropped its objections to letting the Jewish state join the European regional bloc at the world body. Spain became the last E.U. country to drop its objections, Vice President Al Gore told Jewish leaders Sunday. “We welcome the news,” Malcolm Hoenlein,… More ▸

  • Italy to Ask Spain to Extradite Achille Lauro Hijacker Who Fled

    Italy will seek the extradition of a Palestinian convicted of the 1985 Achille Lauro hijacking who was recaptured in Spain. The chief of the Italian police anti-terrorism division said the Italian Justice Ministry was preparing an extradition request for Youssef Magied al- Molqi, adding that the request could take up to 45 days to process…. More ▸

  • Portuguese Leader Visits Israel

    The President of Portugal addressed a special session of the Knesset last week, the start of his four-day official visit to Israel. In his remarks Nov. 1, President Mario Soares praised Israeli and Palestinian leaders for their courage and vision to bring peace. Soares also asked for forgiveness from the Jewish people for Portugal’s involvement… More ▸

  • Crypto-jews May Transform Portuguese Jewish Community

    At first glance, it appears that the future of the Portuguese Jewish community is bleak. Of the few hundred people who were born Jewish and live in Portugal, most are in the capital city of Lisbon. But they are in a country whose Jewish presence, which was strong at times, goes back to at least… More ▸

  • Portugal Honors Ex-consul Who Saved Jews During War

    The man who served as Portugal’s consul in France during World War II has been posthumously honored for illegally issuing 30,000 visas, mostly to Jews facing Nazi persecution. Dr. Aristide de Sousa Mendes do Amoral e Abranches, also known as the “Portuguese Raoul Wallenberg,” received Protugal’s most distinguished non- military honor — membership in the… More ▸

  • Spanish Court Acquits Syrian of Links to Achille Lauro Ordeal

    A Madrid court has acquitted a Syrian arms dealer who was charged with aiding the Palestinian terrorists who hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985, according to the World Jewish Congress. Monzer al- Kassar was arrested in June 1992 on charges that he had supplied Kalashnikov assault rifled and grenades to the hijackers…. More ▸