Spanish Jews Say 'Si' to Departing King Juan Carlos

Praise Monarch for Return of Democracy

getty images

By JTA

Published June 02, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

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.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.