The caricatures targeting Jews in the Aalst Carnival are even “more painful” than the ones that had sparked controversy last year, the Forum for Jewish Organisations reacted on Sunday.
“We believed then that the objective was not to denigrate, but it has gone one step further this time,” Hans Knoop, spokesperson for the Forum said.
After analysing the images, the Forum is appalled. “It is shocking that a festival degenerates to this extent in a country like ours, in the heart of Europe. Aalst presents itself to the whole world as a nest of anti-Semitism. I’m not saying that this is the case, but anyone viewing the pictures from abroad cannot draw any other conclusion,” Knoop adds.
The Forum considers that the analogy with the representations of the thirties is inevitable. “Jews are compared to insects, after having been compared to rats and mice last year,” he deplores.
However, the association is pleased by the numerous negative reactions that have come from abroad. It hopes that the civil society will mobilize to reach a solution.
“It is the Jews who suffer from anti-Semitism, but they are not the only ones concerned. The whole society suffers.”