Photo: AP
Queen Elizabeth II must sign decree
Photo: AP

British Jews be advised: Edict of expulsion still valid

Decree calling for expulsion of Jews from Britain, passed in 13th century, never formally revoked. British Foreign Ministry: No real need to do so

The Edict of Expulsion, passed by King Edward I in 1290 and calling for all Jews to leave Britain, has never formally been revoked. In order to rescind it, Queen Elizabeth II must sign a contrasting decree.


According to an article published by Israeli historian Ori Katzir on his blog, Aplaton, King Edward I decided in 1290 to evict all Jews from Britain. The reasons for this were many and varied, including blood libel against the Jews.


King Edward signed edicts sent to sheriffs across England, in which he stated that all Jews are to leave the country or to be executed. The signatory date coincided with the Jewish date of Tisha b'Av.


The edict has not been cancelled

Katzir writes, "Although this sounds surprising – even unbelievable – the edict has not been cancelled and is still listed among British legal documents. It was actively in effect for decades until Oliver Cromwell allowed the Jews to return in the middle of the 17th century. In the past 350 years, the British Jewish community has become one of the largest and most thriving in the world, but the edict is still in effect."


Katzir states that it is clear that the edict is a disregarded law, and that England does not behave in accordance to Medieval norms manifested in the decree. However, in theory, the British have the capacity to kick out Israeli Jews, for example, when they come to visit in England.


"All that needs to be done is for the queen to sign a contradictory decree, and this has never been done. I wonder when the Israeli government will appeal to the UK to have Queen Elizabeth II sign such a decree and revoke the edict issued by one of her forefathers."


The British Foreign Ministry issued a response Sunday stating that the ministry's legal advisor doesn't agree that there is a need to revoke the edict. 


Jews, like other religious minorities, received equal rights over a century ago, beginning with formal Jewish Emancipation in 1858, at which point Lionel de Rothschild was allowed to sit in the House of Commons after the law restricting the oath of office to Christians was changed, the ministry said.


פרסום ראשון: 09.11.06, 11:13
 new comment
This will delete your current comment