Did you know that when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain gave the Spanish Jews 3 months to leave or be killed, most of them were rescued by the Ottoman fleet and taken to Izmir and elsewhere to live in peace and prosperity there for the next several hundred years?

This exodus of 800,000 or so Europeans across the Mediterranean happened at the same time as the European conquest of the Americas began.  Anyway, this is what I’d like to see conscientious countries doing today — doing the right thing, like the Sultan over half a millenia ago.

1492 , when the Ottoman Empire rescued hundreds of thousands of Europeans and brought them south across the Mediterranean, to safety.

In 1492 Colombo crossed the Ocean
Only one of many horrors that would then be set in motion
As his men cut limbs of Arawaks and burned children at the stake
Plundering a continent for God’s sake

In 1492 when King Ferdinand won Granada
He passed a law known as the Edict of Alhambra
It was as the landlords wanted, as his gracious God had willed
That any Jew in Spain had three months to leave or else be killed

And 800,000 Europeans became refugees
And headed south across the Mediterranean Sea

In 1492 they were starving and bereft
The King said they’d be safe up until the time they left
But Christian Europeans cut them open with their swords
Searched their stomachs for gold and dumped them overboard

In 1492 the Sultan sent his fleet
To go rescue Sephardim after the Ottoman defeat
Hundreds of thousands of people who knew their deaths were near
Were rescued by Muslims and taken to Izmir

In 1492 the Sultan said that’s fine
If they’d impoverish their kingdom just to enrich mine
The Sultan also passed an edict – he said “welcome home
“Now treat your new neighbors as if they were your own”

Song by David Rovics

I’ve got several new gigs coming right up, in the Munich area and in Freiburg.  And others that were already planned in Birmingham, London, Cologne, all around the Berlin area, Brussels, Utrecht and elsewhere.

It’s all up at http://www.davidrovics.com, along with what’s confirmed so far for the November tour of the west coast, and March on the east…

Hope to see more of you somewhere or other soon!


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