Aalst Carnival parodies ‘not antisemitic’, says Mayor
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    Aalst Carnival parodies ‘not antisemitic’, says Mayor

    © Belga

    Aalst’s Mayor Christoph D’Haese sees no problem with the representations of Jews that were visible during his city’s Carnival on Sunday.

    According to him, they cannot be classified as anti-Semitic. 

    The weather did not disrupt the procession, but the departure was postponed by one hour as a precaution. Between 60,000 and 80,000 people were present for the festival, according to provisional figures.

    One serious incident was reported. A man about thirty of age had to be restrained by police after causing trouble and pulling out a knife in an inn.

    All eyes were on the Jewish representations after last year’s controversy. However, festival-goers were not put off by UNESCO’s decision to withdraw the event from the list of intangible heritage of humanity.

    One group even presented Orthodox Jews as insects, which was denounced by organizations feeling likened to vermin.

    © Belga

    The call to ban the Carnival by Israeli Foreign Minister was resented by Aalst’s residents, and this seems to have doubled its desire to provoke.

    “I tried to avoid escalation during these recent days. There was animosity, but the parodies cannot be labeled as anti-Semitic,” Aalst Mayor, Christoph D’Haese said.

    The procession will again parade on Monday. The event will last until Wednesday.

    The Brussels Times