Jewish Past, Mnemonic Constitutionalism and Politics of Citizenship

This paper utilises three case studies to focus on various modes of the Jewish past in constructing citizenship regimes. The first part will explore how secondary EU law has been appropriating Holocaust and other episodes of Jewish history in shaping the narrative of EU citizenship, fundamental rights, anti-discrimination and the rule of law. The second part will scrutinize granting citizenship to the descendants of Sephardic Jews, particularly in Portugal and Spain. The third part will focus on the Israeli aliyah (עֲלִיָּה), namely various aspects of the immigration politics in Israel centred on the 1950 Law of Return. The case studies reveal how citizenship has been an element of memory politics, while misfortunes of the past have – ironically – become embedded into citizenship. Hence, Jewish history provides a vivid clue for the edifice of citizenship in Europe and the mobile transnational pan-European ‘Jew’ in many ways remains the idyllic prototype of EU citizens.