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A proposed law will fast-track naturalisation of Jews whose ancestors were expelled 500 years ago. Now the descendants of Muslims who were ousted are also seeking the right to return
Perched dramatically on a rocky mountain, the small city of Toledo overlooks a bend in the Tagus river. Within its maze of cobblestone streets are buildings that once housed mosques, churches and synagogues, hinting at the varied cultures that once called this medieval city home.
Earlier this month, about 50 miles away from Toledo, the Spanish government sought to strengthen its ties with one of these cultures, announcing plans to fast-track the naturalisation of Sephardic Jews, whose ancestors were expelled five centuries ago from Spain.The bill, said the Spanish government, would “correct a historical wrong”. The legislation has yet to be approved by parliament, but already consulates in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem said they have been flooded with requests for information. Up to 3.5 million people around the world are thought to have Sephardic – Hebrew for “Spanish” – Jewish ancestry.