Spain sparks outrage over 'antisemitic' definition of the word Jew

The Royal Spanish Academy defines Judío as 'a shrewd, greedy person', and Judaida as 'a loathsome trick that harms someone'

Jewish organizations from the United States and Spanish-speaking countries have recently appealed to the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), expressing their concern over its official definition of Jewish (Judío) in its dictionary as "a shrewd, greedy person or one who engages in usury," and the related term Judiada as "a loathsome trick or action that harms someone."
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In a letter sent to the RAE and endorsed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and some 20 other Jewish groups and communities from Spanish-speaking countries like Spain and Panama, the signatories urge the academy to change these definitions, which they describe as "outdated, utterly antisemitic, and contrary to the Spanish constitution."
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ההגדרה ליהודי במילון של האקדמיה ללשון בספרד - "איש חמדן, תאב בצע או מלווה בריבית"
ההגדרה ליהודי במילון של האקדמיה ללשון בספרד - "איש חמדן, תאב בצע או מלווה בריבית"
Spanish definition for Judaida: A loathsome trick
“The definitions of the word judío and judiada in no way reflect the true meaning of these terms,” the letter read. “These descriptions are the product of a medieval and renaissance terminology of rejection, envy and hatred directed at the Jews who, because of their work, had the highest incomes – which was one of the factors that led to their expulsion from Spain by the Catholic monarchs.”
The Royal Spanish Academy’s official dictionary provides five different definitions for the term Judío: The first four definitions aren’t controversial and refer to individuals who are members of the Jewish faith or descendants of "Judah."
The fifth definition, however, has sparked controversy and accusations of antisemitism by the institutions. According to the definition, Judío is described as "a shrewd, greedy person or one who engages in usury
The second definition of "Judiada" in the Spanish dictionary describes it as "a congregation or group of Jews." The first definition, describing it as a “loathsome trick", follows with a warning that the word was originally used with an antisemitic connotation.
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ההגדרה ליהודי במילון של האקדמיה ללשון בספרד - "איש חמדן, תאב בצע או מלווה בריבית"
ההגדרה ליהודי במילון של האקדמיה ללשון בספרד - "איש חמדן, תאב בצע או מלווה בריבית"
The official Spanish dictionary's definition of a Jew: A shrewd, greedy person
The Jewish groups who signed the letter acknowledge that the academy attempted to explain in the words’ definition that such a use was antisemitic and derogatory. Still, they note that “as far as the international Jewish community is concerned, the move has served only to confirm that we are dealing with an untrue definition that feeds antisemitism, harming the image of Jews by condemning them as a group of greedy people or moneylenders”.
“Such definitions belong to the tradition of antisemitism in Spain that led to the expulsion or forced conversion of the country’s Jewish population in 1492 under the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella,” they added.
The Royal Spanish Academy was founded over 300 years ago in Madrid by the Spanish monarchy with the aim of regulating and establishing the rules of the Spanish language. The Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain had previously appealed to the academy regarding its definition of Judiada, and though the academy has altered it somewhat, it remains close to its original definition even today.
In response to the appeal, the RAE has said it has received the appeals and will study them further.
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