The New Mexican Inquisition

Aug. 22 2016

As early as the 16th century, Iberian Jews who had converted to Catholicism in order to escape persecution or expulsion came to Spanish and Portuguese colonies in the New World where they hoped to be free of stigma. But soon the Inquisition followed them, seeking out those who continued to practice Jewish rituals in secret. A new exhibit at the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe tells what happened to some of these crypto-Jews. Rich Tenorio writes:

Fractured Faiths: Spanish Judaism, the Inquisition, and New World Identities is on display . . . through December 31. In this comprehensive exhibition, viewers can see artifacts borrowed from over twenty institutions from Europe and the Americas—many brought together for the first time. . . .

Established in Spain in 1478, the Inquisition began active investigations in 1480. The next 40 years would see a wave of persecution of crypto-Jews. . . . in Spain and to some extent in the Americas. . . .

In Mexico City during the 1590s, a second wave of persecutions arose, stretching over a decade. Its victims included Don Luis de Carvajal, a colonial governor of New Mexico, and his family.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: American Jewish History, History & Ideas, Inquisition, Museums, Sephardim

Palestinian Leaders Fight Economic Growth

Jan. 15 2019

This month, a new shopping mall opened in northeastern Jerusalem, easily accessible to most of the city’s Arab residents. Rami Levy, the supermarket magnate who owns the mall, already employs some 2,000 Israeli Arabs and Palestinians at his other stores, and the mall will no doubt bring more jobs to Arab Jerusalemites. But the leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) are railing against it, and one newspaper calls its opening “an economic catastrophe [nakba].” Bassam Tawil writes:

For [the PA president] Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah officials . . . the image of Palestinians and Jews working in harmony is loathsome. . . . Instead of welcoming the inauguration of the shopping mall for providing job opportunities to dozens of Palestinians and lower prices [to consumers], Fatah officials are taking about an Israeli plan to “undermine” the Palestinian economy. . . . The hundreds of Palestinians who flooded the new mall on its first day, however, seem to disagree with the grim picture painted by [these officials]. . . .

The campaign of incitement against Levy’s shopping mall began several months ago, as it was being built, and has continued until today. Now that the campaign has failed to prevent the opening of the mall, Fatah and its followers have turned to outright threats and violence. The threats are being directed toward Palestinian shoppers and Palestinian merchants who rented space in the new mall. On the day the mall was opened, Palestinians threw a number of firebombs at the compound, [which] could have injured or killed Palestinians. The [bomb-throwers], who are believed to be affiliated with Fatah, would rather see their own people dead than having fun or buying attractively-priced products at an Israeli mall.

By spearheading this campaign of incitement and intimidation, Abbas’s Fatah is again showing its true colors. How is it possible to imagine that Abbas or any of his Fatah lieutenants would ever make peace with Israel when they cannot even tolerate the idea of Palestinians and Jews working together for a simple common good? If a Palestinian who buys Israeli milk is a traitor in the eyes of Fatah, it is not difficult to imagine the fate of any Palestinian who would dare to discuss compromise with Israel.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: East Jerusalem, Israeli Arabs, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian economy