How Sephardi Refugees Brought Chocolate to France

Dec. 18 2017

In the middle of the 16th century, Jewish converts to Christianity and their descendants—known as New Christians—began slipping from Spain and Portugal into southern France. Although this area was also officially Judenrein, here Jews had to make less effort to conceal their identities, and as time went on the communities they founded slowly became openly Jewish. One such group settled in Saint-Esprit, adjacent to the city of Bayonne and near the border with Spain. Mariana Montiel writes:

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Read more at Atlanta Jewish Ideas

More about: Amsterdam, Food, French Jewry, History & Ideas, Sephardim, Spanish Inquisition

Israeli Sovereignty Would Free Residents of the West Bank from Ottoman Law

To its opponents, the change in the legal status of certain areas of Judea and Samaria is “annexation;” to its proponents, it is the “extension of sovereignty” or the “application of Israeli law.” Naomi Khan argues that the last term best captures the practical implications of the measures in question. Since the Six-Day War, the Jewish state has continued to uphold the Ottoman legal system in areas of the West Bank under its jurisdiction—despite the fact that the Ottoman empire ceased to exist in 1922; “annexation” would end this situation. Setting aside the usual questions of foreign policy, security, and the possibility of Palestinian statehood, Khan argues that this change would be the one most felt by those who live there:

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Read more at JNS

More about: Annexation, Israeli law, Ottoman Empire, Palestinian Authority, West Bank