Spanish Jews Praise King Juan Carlos Following Abdication

Community remembers 'with special affection’ the king’s 1992 visit to Madrid’s Beth Yaacov synagogue, his first to a synagogue in the country.

JTA
JTA
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Spain's King Juan Carlos, right, speaking with the chairperson of the governing Sephardic Community of Jerusalem, Abraham Haim, before their meeting in Madrid, Spain, March 13, 2014.
Spain's King Juan Carlos, right, speaking with the chairperson of the governing Sephardic Community of Jerusalem, Abraham Haim, before their meeting in Madrid, Spain, March 13, 2014.Credit: AP
JTA
JTA

Spain’s Jewish community lauded King Juan Carlos after he abdicated the throne in favor of his son Prince Felipe.

Juan Carlos on Monday made the surprise announcement that he would step down after nearly 40 years on the throne.

“Spanish Jews recognize, value and appreciate the personal role His Majesty King Juan Carlos has played in the construction of the recent history of our country and his leadership in the consecration of the democratic values enshrined in the Constitution of 1978 and, in particular, freedom of worship,” according to a statement released Monday by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, or FCJE.

The federation’s statement said the Jewish community “remembers with special affection” the king’s 1992 visit to Madrid’s Beth Yaacov synagogue, the first visit by the king to a synagogue in the country.

On the 500th anniversary of the May 31, 1492 signing by Spanish King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of the edict ordering Spain’s 200,000 Jews to either convert to Catholicism or leave the country, Juan Carlos and his wife, Queen Sofia, visited the synagogue. The king paid tribute to the “strength of spirit” of Spanish Jews forced to leave because the state demanded “religious uniformity,” but did not directly apologize for the expulsion.

Juan Carlos visited Israel for the first time in 1993, where he addressed the Knesset.

“To the future King Don Felipe, the Jewish community wishes you long life and a reign of peace and prosperity for the benefit of Spain and the Spaniards,” the federation’s statement concluded.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

הקלטות מעוז

Jewish Law Above All: Recordings Reveal Far-right MK's Plan to Turn Israel Into Theocracy

איתמר בן גביר

Why I’m Turning My Back on My Jewish Identity

Travelers looking at the Departures board at Ben Gurion Airport. The number of olim who later become yordim is unknown.

Down and Out: Why These New Immigrants Ended Up Leaving Israel

Beatrice Grannò and Simona Tabasco as Mia and Lucia in "The White Lotus."

The Reality Behind ‘The White Lotus’ Sex Work Fantasy

The Mossad hit team in Dubai. Exposed by dozens of security cameras

This ‘Dystopian’ Cyber Firm Could Have Saved Mossad Assassins From Exposure

מליאת הכנסת 28.12.22

Comeback Kid: How Netanyahu Took Back Power After 18 Months in Exile