(ALHAMBRA, CA, December 20, 2013) – Last week, in Title IX of the landmark class action, Cruz v. Alhambra, the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, California, granted the parties` request to end its oversight of the case after Alhambra High School complied with the terms of the settlement agreement. Over the past decade, the school has built new softball fields for girls, added a number of girls` sports teams, and corrected other sports inequalities at school as a result of the cruz settlement. Hostility towards the Jews in Spain reached its peak during the reign of the “Catholic Monarchs” Ferdinand and Isabella. Their marriage in 1469, which formed a personal union of the crowns of Aragon and Castile, with a coordinated policy between their different kingdoms, eventually led to the final unification of Spain. The king and queen issued the Alhambra decree less than three months after the capitulation of Granada. Although Isabella was the driving force behind the decision, her husband Fernando did not object to the decision. The fact that his confessor had just passed from the tolerant Hernando de Talavera to the very intolerant Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros indicates an increase in royal hostility towards the Jews. The text of the decree accused the Jews of trying to “undermine the holy Catholic faith” by trying to “dissuade faithful Christians from their faith.”  These measures were not new in Europe. As the Reconquista drew to a close, open hostility to Jews in Christian Spain became more pronounced and found expression in brutal episodes of violence and oppression. In the early fourteenth century, Christian kings competed to prove their piety by allowing the clergy to subject the Jewish population to forced sermons and disputes.  Other deadly attacks came later in the century from angry Mobs of Catholics, led by popular preachers who broke into the Jewish Quarter, destroyed synagogues, and broke into homes, forcing residents to choose between conversion and death.  Thousands of Jews tried to escape these attacks by converting to Christianity. These Jewish converts were commonly called Conversos, New Christians or Marranos; the latter two terms were used as insults. At first, these conversions seemed to be an effective solution to the cultural conflict: many converso families were successful socially and economically.  But eventually, their success made these new Catholics unpopular with their neighbors, including some Church clergy and Spanish aristocrats who competed with them for influence over royal families. In the middle of the fifteenth century, the demands of the old Christians for the Catholic Church and the monarchy to distinguish them from the Conversos led to the first limpieza de sangre laws that limited the possibilities for converts.  The California Women`s Law Center (CWLC) and the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center (LAS-ELC) filed a groundbreaking lawsuit on behalf of the Alhambra High Girls seeking a Title IX injunction, which prohibits gender discrimination in education, including sports programs. The results at Alhambra High School show the benefits that female athletes see when the law is enforced. These problems came to a head with the final conquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella. The Independent Islamic Emirate of Granada had been a tributary state of Castile since 1238. Jews and Conversos played an important role in this campaign because they had the opportunity to raise funds and acquire weapons through their extensive trade networks.  This perceived increase in Jewish influence has further infuriated ancient Christians and hostile elements of the clergy.  Finally, in 1491, in preparation for an imminent transition to Castilian territory, the Treaty of Granada was signed by Emir Muhammad XII and the Queen of Castile, who protected the religious freedom of Muslims there. In 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella had won the Battle of Granada and completed the Catholic Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula against Islamic forces. However, the Jewish population came out of the countryside more hated by the population and less useful to monarchs. During the four hundred years that most of these decrees were implemented, the grounds for expulsion gradually changed.
In the beginning, expulsions of Jews (or the absence of expulsions) were the exercise of royal prerogatives. Jewish communities in medieval Europe were often protected and associated with monarchs because Jews under the feudal system were often the only reliable source of tax for a monarch.  Jews also had a reputation as money lenders because they were the only social group allowed to lend money for profit according to the dominant interpretation of the Vulgate (the Latin translation of the Bible used as the official text in Roman Catholic Western Europe), which prohibited Christians from charging interest on loans.  The Jews thus became lenders and creditors of merchants, aristocrats and even monarchs. Most evictions before the Alhambra decree were related to this financial situation: to raise additional funds, a monarch would heavily tax the Jewish community and force Jews to take out loans; the monarch would then expel the Jews; At the time of the expulsion, the monarch confiscated his remaining valuable property, including debts owed to them by other subjects of the monarch and, in some cases, by the monarch himself.  The expulsion of the Jews from Spain was therefore an innovation not only in its magnitude, but also in its motivations. A Y-chromosome DNA test conducted by the University of Leicester and Pompeu Fabra University gave an average of nearly 20% for Spaniards with direct patrilineal ancestry from Middle Eastern populations who colonized the region either in historical times like Jews and Phoenicians, or during earlier prehistoric Neolithic migrations. .