OVER 20 Jewish groups from Spanish-speaking countries have written to the leading linguistic authority, the Spanish Royal Academy (RAE), to demand the removal of antisemitic definitions from the dictionary.

The community is calling for a review of the definitions that describe a judio as a “greedy or money-lending person” and judiada as a synonym for “dirty trick”.

The 300-year-old institution, RAE, oversees the development of the Spanish language.

Spain’s Federation of Jewish Communities and the Anti-Defamation League have shown support for the groups and have backed the letter that says the definitions are not true to the actual meaning of the words.

Describing them as outdated and “utterly antisemitic”, the letter goes on to say that the descriptions are “a product of a medieval and Renaissance terminology of rejection, envy, and hatred directed at Jews.

The RAE had attempted to explain that the use of the word judio was derogatory. 

Despite this, the signatories said “the move has only served to confirm that we are dealing with an untrue definition that feeds into anti-semitism and harms the image of Jews”.

Under Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492, Jews were forced into conversion or were expelled from the country. 

Since then, Spain has tried to confront its antisemitic past and help preserve the social, historical, and cultural contributions of the Jewish population.

In 2015, the Spanish government attempted to right the wrongs of the past and offered citizenship to the descendants of those who were forced to flee from their homeland.


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