MADRID, SPAIN — More than 20 Jewish communities worldwide have formally requested the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) to eliminate the definition of “Jew” as “avaricious or usurious person.” They consider it an offensive definition that portrays a community in derogatory and discriminatory terms, not reflecting the current usage of the Spanish language in the Spanish-speaking community, where respect and the promotion of diversity and multiculturalism are paramount.
“Dictionaries have the task of reflecting language use and evolution, and their content is based on linguistic and academic criteria. In a context where Spanish and Ibero-American society is increasingly sensitive to diverse identities, and disrespect in defining groups is widely rejected, we believe that these definitions should be updated to accurately reflect the language’s usage in our times,” said lawyer Borja Luján Lago, who is representing the Jewish community in this initiative.
The initiative, promoted by the Jewish Community of Panama, has the support of the entire Spanish-speaking Jewish community, represented by its representative organizations: the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, the Delegation of Israeli Associations in Argentina, the Israeli Circle of Bolivia, the Jewish Community of Chile, the Sephardic Hebrew Community of Bogotá, the Zionist Israeli Center of Costa Rica, the Board of the House of the Hebrew Community of Cuba, the Jewish Community of Ecuador, the Israeli Community of El Salvador, the Jewish Community of Guatemala, the Hebrew Community of Tegucigalpa, the Central Committee of the Jewish Community of Mexico, the Israeli Community of Nicaragua, the Jewish Community of Paraguay, the Jewish Association of Peru, the Israeli Center of the Dominican Republic, the Central Israeli Committee of Uruguay, and the Confederation of Israeli Associations of Venezuela, as well as non-governmental organizations such as the American Jewish Committee (AJC), B’nai B’rith International (BBI), the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM), the Latin American Jewish Congress (CJL), and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
The document submitted to the RAE’s registry also requests, for the same reasons, the complete removal of the entry “Judiada,” which is defined as “a dirty trick or action that harms someone.”
“We understand that dictionary definitions reflect language usage and do not inherently promote hate, but they should be corrected as they are entirely outdated in the social and cultural reality of the 21st century. We appeal to the sensitivity of the RAE to promote a
respectful and inclusive language,” said Luján Lago.
This press release was originally published by LL&HH Abogados, a multidisciplinary law firm specializing in key areas of law: criminal, administrative, civil, labor, tax, and immigration. Founded in 2015, the firm, led by Juan Carlos Luján Lago and Borja Luján Lago, is headquartered in Galapagar (Madrid) and operates throughout the Spanish territory.