Friday, April 11, 2014

Spanish Village of "Kill Jews" Pondering Name Change

Michael L.

{I don't think that they should do it, but that's just me. - Editor's note.}
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
The Jerusalem Post is reporting this delightful story:
A Spanish village is considering removing the phrase “kill Jews” from its name.

The village of Castrillo Matajudios near Leon in northern Spain will convene its 60 resident families at a town hall meeting next week to discuss and vote on the first formal proposal to change the village’s name, the regional daily Diario de Burgos reported Friday. was changed during the Spanish Inquisition.

Mayor Lorenzo Rodriguez, who submitted the proposal, suggested changing the village’s name to Castrillo Mota de Judios, which means “Castrillo Jews’ Hill.” He said this was the village’s original name, but it was changed during the Spanish Inquisition.
Every once in awhile I run across a story that is so outrageous and so unlikely that I feel that I must highlight it even if I have no idea what to make of it.  This one is such.  The image above, by the way, is the flag of the village of Castrillo Matajudios.  Notice the prominent Shield of David.
In parts of Spain, and especially in the north, locals use the term “killing Jews” (matar Judios) to describe the traditional drinking of lemonade spiked with alcohol at festivals held in city squares at Easter, or drinking in general.
Is it like a toast?  You know, here's mud in your eye and matar Judios!

This is just bizarre.  So, we are to understand that in certain parts of Spain having a drink is called "killing Jews" or "kill Jews"?

Really??  Fascinating, I say!
Leon will hold its “matar Judios” fiesta on Good Friday, April 18, where organizers estimate 40,000 gallons of lemonade will be sold.
A "killing Jews" festival in Leon, Spain, featuring spiked lemonade?  Good times!

I have to say, I find this so unusual that I cannot even begin to feel any outrage.  It's absurd and hysterical and I doubt very much that the vast majority of Spaniards who attend the festival are particularly interested in killing Jews.
The name originates from medieval times, when converted Jews would sometimes be publicly executed in show trials at around Easter, Maria Royo, a spokesperson for the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain told JTA.
Jews publicly executed around Easter after show trials in medieval Spain, you say?

Ahh, the good old days!
“Regrettably, this type of expression exists in Spain in ceremonies and parties,” she said, but added that “the people saying it are mostly unaware of the history. It is a complicated issue that is ingrained in local culture.”
That is regrettable, although I cannot help but wonder how historically astute one needs to be in order to understand that naming a festival in celebration of the slaughter of Jews is perhaps something other than "liberal," not to mention functionally humane.

Europeans often like to flatter themselves that they are very much more enlightened and sophisticated than those of us in places like, say, North America or Australia, yet can you imagine if some small town in South Carolina held an annual Kill Black People Festival?
The federation is in contact on this issue with authorities, but given the popularity of the expression, “it is impossible to forbid this language” in that context, she added.
The popularity of the expression?

"Killing Jews" or "Kill Jews" is a popular expression that refers to drinking alcohol in parts of Spain?

This is news to me, I have to tell you.  I new that Spain was perhaps the least friendly country to the Jewish State of Israel - and thus to the Jewish people, more generally - throughout all of Europe, but I never thought that "Killing Jews" or "Kill Jews" was a sort-of general expression associated with festivals, intoxication, and overall good times.

Nice to know.




  3. Shush. You will be giving Palestinians ideas.