The name of a town symbolizes a European phenomenon.
There is a Spanish village called Castrillo Matajudios, the second word of whose name means “Kill the Jews”. The town will hold a referendum next month to decide if it should change the name.
No Jews live there anymore, but many residents have ancient Jewish roots dating back to the 15th century Spanish Inquisition, when Jews were exiled or had to convert to Catholicism and many of the Jews who converted were suspected of mendacity, tortured horribly and burned at the stake. The town’s official shield includes the Star of David.
As Léon Poliakov has pointed out, “Spanish theologians worked out a doctrine according to which the false beliefs of Jews had soiled their furthest descendants . . . . The theologians maintained that the rejection of Christ had corrupted the conversos biologically”.
A play of the time praised a “noble dog” who smelled out Jews dressed in Christian clothes.
The headlines about the Spanish town came in the same week that the Italian city of Palermo gave honorary citizenship to Marwan Barghouti, the Palestinian Arab terrorist who took the lives of many Jews.
“It is with great honor that we welcome Barghouti among the citizens of Palermo”, the leftist mayor of the city, Leoluca Orlando, said. “Barghouti is a political prisoner who represent the willing of peace in the Middle East”.
Barghouti has been proven responsible for shootings and suicide bomb attacks on Israeli civilians and was – until his capture and imprisonment – one of the world’s most wanted criminals.
It doesn’t matter whether that Spanish town changes its shameful name. Europe still dribbles for the view of a Jewish bloodbath. It still romanticizes and celebrates the death of Jews.
Once Spanish Jews were persecuted by the Christian kings, now their descendants in Israel are slaughtered by the Muslims, the former conquerors of Spain.
Marwan Barghouti is hailed as a “liberator” in one of Italy’s biggest cities, the same city that was dominated by Spanish and Arab kings, not because he is a man of peace, but because he’s sitting in an Israeli jail and proudly murdered dozens of Jews.
The name Matajudios originates from medieval times, when Jews would be publicly executed in show trials at Easter. And this past Easter, another of Europe’s towns honored the killer of many Jews, while another Jew, Baruch Mizrahi, was gunned down by Barghouti’s friends during the Jewish Pesach.
EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, a kind of heir of the Queen Isabel who exiled the Spanish Jews, just condemned Israel for some houses built in Gush Etzion in Judea. But Ashton had no words for the wife and children of Baruch Mizrahi.
Two years ago, when four innocent Jews, including three children, were murdered in cold blood outside a Jewish school in France, her majesty Ashton condemned the massacre while making note of “children dying in Gaza”.
Again, the cycle of anti-Semitism devouring Jewish lives and memories. But how low have we Europeans sunk? To where Europe would be proud of that name: Matajudios?