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Israel’s FM ridiculed, accused of ignorance after attacking Muslim rule in Andalusia

May 25, 2024 at 12:30 pm

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz speaks to the press during a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers at the EU Council headquarter in Brussels, Belgium on January 22, 2024 [Dursun Aydemir – Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz was ridiculed on Friday and accused of being ignorant about history, rather than the Spanish Deputy Prime Minister, whom he had called ignorant in a post on his X account. This was in justification for his decision to prevent the Spanish Consulate General in Jerusalem from providing its services to Palestinians.

Katz posted: “In response to Spain’s recognition of a Palestinian state and the antisemitic call by Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister to not just recognize a Palestinian state but to ‘liberate Palestine from the river to the sea,’ I have decided to sever the connection between Spain’s representation in Israel and the Palestinians, and to prohibit the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem from providing services to Palestinians from the West Bank.”

“If this ignorant, hate-filled individual wants to understand what radical Islam truly seeks, she should study the 700 years of Islamic rule in Al-Andalus—today’s Spain,” he added.

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Katz shows great ignorance and an apparent contradiction, given that during the Muslim rule of Andalusia, the Jews lived in a period of great security and even held high positions as ministers, with their presence being prominent in all aspects of life. On the other hand, they were persecuted and killed after the fall of the Muslim rule and the arrival of the Catholic Christian rulers. This is especially true during what was called the Reconquista battles, in which the remaining Muslims and Jews in Andalusia were forced to convert to Christianity or be killed and displaced. A number of Jews were forcibly converted to Christianity, while tens of thousands of Jews – like Muslims – chose to flee Spain and found refuge in Muslim areas, especially in nearby North Africa, especially Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Many chose to seek refuge in areas under the control of the Ottoman Empire, including the capital, Istanbul.

In 2014, the descendants of Jews expelled from Andalusia were granted Spanish citizenship without being required to move to Spain or renounce any other citizenship they had at the time. Portugal, which was also under Muslim rule, made the same decision. The deadline for submitting applications was September 2019, and by then, estimates suggest that 130,000 Jews had applied.

Among the respondents to the Israeli minister was Eitan Nishan, an Israeli writer and journalist residing in New York, who wrote in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper: “Islamic rule in Al-Andalus was called The Golden Age of Jewish culture!”

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