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    Juan Alvarez Mendizabal

    Jew Score:
    8

    I2

    O2

    K4
    February 25, 1790 – November 3, 1853

    The first ever Jewish prime minister was...

    Alright, let's discount all the ancient Judeans. But if you can tell us who the prime minister was under Saul or Solomon, please be our guest. Make sure to provide correct birth and death dates, or it doesn't count, okay?

    So let's move forward a couple of millennia and hit the 19th century, and someone we've honestly never heard of before researching the profile: Juan Alvarez Mendizabal. He was Prime Minister of Spain for a rather extensive period: nine months in 1835 and 1836. Not even nine full months!

    What did Mendizabal accomplish during his lengthy reign? Quite a lot, actually. He tried to bring Spain in line with more progressive parliamentary governments, confiscated land from the Catholic Church, and even ushered in freedom of the press.

    So why did he last less than a year? Antisemitism, we bet! Mendizabal was derided for his Jewish origins throughout his life, as his mother came from a Marrano family...

    Right, Mendizabal wasn't exactly Jewish himself, just had Jewish heritage. But his nickname in the opposing press (so much for that freedom!) was "Jew"! It must have not been easy to be the first Jewish prime minister...

    Verdict: Barely a Jew.

    June 7, 2021

    See Also

    Benjamin Disraeli

    Luis de Gongora

    Juan Lindo

    The Spanish

    Diego Velazquez
    © Jew or Not Jew, 2006-2021.