Jewish groups in Spain are calling for urgent action after a small village in the country's medieval persecution of its Jewish population was defaced with antisemitic graffiti.
On Wednesday night, the Jewish camp of Castrillo Mota de Jud os was daubed with a Neo-Nazi symbol and bins were set alight. Two pieces of graffiti referenced the village's old name Castrillo Matajud os, or Camp Kill Jews, in English, which was changed after a referendum eight years ago.
The village was targeted by antisemites since its name was changed in 2015 and plans were announced to open a Jewish memory centre.
The latest attack came eight months after the village was sprayed with phrases such as Juden Raus Jews out Long live the Catholic monarchs. The mayor sold out to the killer Jew and references to the grand inquisitor Tom s de Torquemada.
The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain FCJE said the intimidating attacks could have resulted in a dangerous fire and called for the authorities to act. The secretary general of the federation, Maxo Benalal, said we want to express our deepest disgust and dismay in the wake of this new incident in Castrillo Mota de Jud os.
We call for the police to do their job as quickly and effectively as possible, and for the courts to apply the penal code as strictly as possible. Spain isn't a racist country and we can't allow incidents like this to go unpunished. Lorenzo Rodrguez, the mayor of Castrillo Mota de Jud os, which is located in the Burgos province of the northern Spanish region of Castilla y Le n, called those behind the attacks cowards. He said the tragedy had only been avoided thanks to the efforts of local people who put out the bin fires.
He said that the perpetrators will not succeed in getting us to abandon our objective, which is restoring Castrillo's Jewish memory. We will never kneel. The settlement was founded by a group of Jews who had been expelled from a nearby village in the 11th century. Although it became a popular trading hub and home to more than 1,000 people, life changed drastically when Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand expelled Jews from Spain in 1492.
Some researchers believe that the name was changed to signal loyalty to Catholicism and the crown, while others think it is a slip of the pen, changing mota hill to mata kill Seven years ago, Spain attempted to atone for the historical wrong of expulsion and persecution of its Jewish communities by offering citizenship to descendants of those who were forced from their homeland.
The offer, which expired in October 2019, resulted in 132,226 people of Sephardic descent applying for Spanish citizenship.