July 30, 1492
The same month Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain for his “expedition of discovery to the Indies” [actually the Western Hemisphere], was the deadline for all “Jews and Jewsses of our kingdoms to depart and never to return . . .” lest they be executed. Under the influence of Fr. Tomas de Torquemada, the leader of the Spanish Inquisition, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella had ordered the expulsion of the entire Jewish community of 200,000 from Spain within four months. Spain’s Muslims, or Moors, were forced out as well within ten years.
All were forced to sell off their houses, businesses and possessions, were pressured to convert to Christianity, and to find a new country to live in. Those who left were known as Sephardim (Hebrew for Spain), settling in North Africa, Italy, and elsewhere in Europe and the Arab world.
Most went to Portugal, were allowed to stay just six months, and then were enslaved under orders of King John. Those who made it to Turkey were welcomed by Sultan Bajazet who asked, “How can you call Ferdinand of Aragon a wise king, the same Ferdinand who impoverished his own land and enriched ours?”
July 30, 1996
Four Ploughshares activists in Liverpool, England, were acquitted of all charges (illegal entry and criminal damage) on the basis of their having prevented a greater crime, after having extensively damaged an F-16 Hawk fighter jet to be sold to the Indonesian government for use in its genocidal occupation of East Timor.
H/T Carl Bunin of PeaceButtons
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