Story-ideas-1011172

Battleground Belgium - hotbed of anti-Semitism

  • Conference logo
SCARY STUFF: Belgium has become the epicentre of violent anti-Semitic attacks this year - with over 30 “severe” events reported between Jan 1 & Nov 24. But the problem is symptomatic of similar outbursts throughout Europe. The WZO, which traditionally holds annual conferences of Diaspora member Feds in France, this year chose Belgium as the venue as a sign of solidarity with the embattled Belgian community. The writer was there & can attest to the fact that Europe’s over 1 million Jews are in crisis - and leaving in droves…
by ANT KATZ | Dec 23, 2014
May 24 this year was the game-changer for Belgium's Jewish community. Four people, including an Israeli couple, were killed at the Brussels Jewish Museum when an Islamic extremist burst into the site and opened fire.

Libeskind Wheel of Conscience1The French national, Mehdi Nemmouche, is awaiting trial for the attack on charges of “murder in a terrorist context.” He had spent more than a year fighting with Islamic extremists in Syria.



RIGHT: Serious additional security was put on for the WZO visit and wreath-laying at the newly re-opened museum - PIC: A KATZ


The museum opened again on September 14 under tight security.

The shooting - the first such attack in Brussels in three decades - underlined fears of a resurgence of anti-Semitic violence in Europe and of terror attacks from foreign fighters returning from Syria.

The Department for Countering Anti-Semitism of the World Zionist Organisation (WZO), which is arguably the most influential NGO in the Jewish world, held their annual conference of Diaspora member Zionist Feds in Belgium as Yaakov Hagoel and his team wanted to show solidarity with the embattled Belgian community.

The theme of the 2014 conference, held between December 5 and 7, was “Tactics of Countering Anti-Semitism in the Face of Ongoing Media Incitement and Worldwide Anti-Semitic Incidents”.

Among over 30 'severe' anti-Semitic events reported in Belgium by November 24 were:

May 24 - Brussels - An assailant opened fire inside the Jewish Museum, killing Israeli tourists Emmanuel and Mira Riva and two others. The gunmen then fled the museum and is currently being pursued by Belgian law enforcement officials.

Libeskind Wheel of Conscience HOMEJuly 23 - Liege - (RIGHT) A cafe posted signs in Turkish and French on their window which read: "Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Jews are not under any circumstances.” The French text replaces “Jews” with “Zionists”. The police removed the sign.

August 1 - Antwerp - A Belgian doctor refused to treat a 90-year-old Jewish woman who had suffered a rib fracture and was in need of urgent medical help, telling her to “go to Gaza” instead. “I will not! Send her to Gaza for a few hours, then she will not feel pain anymore,” the doctor told the woman’s son, the Belgian daily Joods Actueel reported.

Libeskind Wheel of Conscience HOME



The WZO party had a contingent of up to 30 specially-trained Belgian police and between three and five vehicles – plus Israeli security – 24/7 during the conference PIC: A KATZ




August 11 - Ghent - A banner reading "Send Netanyahu and his Zionist army back to Dachau for killing over 1 800 Palestinians” was hung from a balcony.

September 10 - Brussels - A man on a tram shouted that Muslims were being killed in Iraq and “Belgium does nothing, it’s ruled by Jews, who should be killed”.

September 14 - Brussels - Rocks and bottles were thrown at the Jewish Martyrs’ memorial.

September 16 - Anderlecht - A synagogue was the target of an arson attack.

October 26 – Liege - The president of the University of Liege was “appalled” at philosophy students for staging a mock Gaza-themed initiation ritual of newcomers. The invitation to the event was couched in an anti-Semitic language, reading “your goal is to avoid the big bad Jew. You’ll be walking in the shoes of a little Palestinian. The goal of your evening is to avoid the big bad Jew and reclaim your home,’’ the invitation stated.

November 15 - Antwerp - A rabbi was stabbed in the throat by an unknown assailant while walking to synagogue.



This is one of a series of original articles on the WZO Conference
Watch out for at least two new Crisis Europe posts every week



WZO Conference reads on SAJR.CO.ZA

23 Dec: BATTLEGROUND BELGIUM - HOTBED OF ANTI-SEMITISM
ANT KATZ
sums up the reality on the ground in Belgium. This is by no means unique to that country and Jews are leaving Europe in droves – mainly for the US and Israel.

17 Dec: GERMAN JEWRY IS “SITTING ON THEIR SUITCASES”
GABRIEL GOLDBERG
 of German Fed – on how it feels like to be a Jew in Europe in 2014 – The most read story last week – and the most commented on too

17 Dec: DANGEROUS BUT WONDERFUL THING TO BE JEWISH
BARON KLENER
, Survivor& head of Belgian Jewry, tells how tough it is on European Jews. This is a must-read, it comes from the mouth of someone who has been through it all before!

10 Dec: EUROPEAN ANTI-SEMITISM HEADING BACK TO 30S 
Introduction to series on December conference of WZO attended & written by ANT KATZ

1 Comment

  1. 1 nat cheiman 24 Dec
    Europe did nothing during the holocaust. France capitulated and Belgium got occupied. Maybe the jerry's should have turfed them out of there, chocolates and all.
    I don't think any Jews will miss Belgium. After all, its the rectum of the world (after all the arab states).

Comment

  1. RadEditor - HTML WYSIWYG Editor. MS Word-like content editing experience thanks to a rich set of formatting tools, dropdowns, dialogs, system modules and built-in spell-check.
    RadEditor's components - toolbar, content area, modes and modules
       
    Toolbar's wrapper 
     
    Content area wrapper
    RadEditor's bottom area: Design, Html and Preview modes, Statistics module and resize handle.
    It contains RadEditor's Modes/views (HTML, Design and Preview), Statistics and Resizer
    Editor Mode buttonsStatistics moduleEditor resizer
      
    RadEditor's Modules - special tools used to provide extra information such as Tag Inspector, Real Time HTML Viewer, Tag Properties and other.
       
 

Follow us on

Newsletter