Aalst Carnival makes fun of Jews again, despite anti-Semitism accusations over previous edition
Share article:
Share article:

Aalst Carnival makes fun of Jews again, despite anti-Semitism accusations over previous edition

Carnival group 'De Vismooil'n' was accused of anti-Semitism in 2019. Credit: Belga

Participants in the Carnival of Aalst have released carnival ribbons making fun of UNESCO and Jews for the 2020 edition of the Carnival, after they were condemned for anti-Semitism in 2019.

The mayor of Aalst, Christoph D’Haese, and Alderman Jean-Jacques De Gucht were summoned to the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in September 2019, where they had to argue that their previous carnival procession was not anti-Semitic after a carnival group was accused of anti-Semitism for their ‘Sabbatjoor’ (“Sabbath year”) float by Jewish people in Belgium and abroad.

In December 2019, UNESCO will decide whether or not the Carnival of Aalst will remain on the World Heritage list.

The Carnival ribbons for the 2020 edition might cause a new problem. “We have released a series of 150 unique carnival ribbons that we distribute among collectors in Aalst. There are six different figures and 150 different slogans,” said Kris Vonck, the designer of the ribbons, to Het Laatste Nieuws. “There are no nasty things on them. They are not about gassing or concentration camps. We are not really making fun of Jews directly. We are mainly focussing on UNESCO, not Jews,” he added.

The ribbons proclaim to make fun of everyone equally. Credit: Kris Vonck

Most of the slogans say things like “UNESCO, what a joke” and “We make fun of everyone equally”. The figures on the ribbons are all Jews, but there is one Muslim saying “They have made fun of us, too”.

The Jews are depicted in a stereotypical fashion with a hat, ringlets, a hooked nose and golden teeth. “The sneer is aimed at UNESCO, but it is pretty difficult to find a funny image of that. So we chose Jews,” added Vonck.

The Forum of Jewish Organisations (FJO) sees the ribbons as “a pure provocation,” reports VTM NIEUWS.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

23 million chickens and 1.7 million pigs: Climate experts call for livestock cut
Flander's livestock needs to be drastically cut to save the climate and reach the emission reduction targets, according to the latest advice from the ...
Vaccination uptake surges in Wallonia following CST announcement
The number of people getting vaccinated against the coronavirus increased fourfold in Wallonia after it was announced that the Covid Safe Ticket ...
Guilty by association
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES Weekly analysis and untold stories With SAM MORGAN Other Brussels behind the scenes stories: Brussels' bid to make ...
Health minister supports use of Covid Safe Ticket in workplace
As the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) has been expanded in Brussels and is set to in Wallonia, federal health minister Frank Vandenbroucke has ...
Maggots show Conings may have lived longer following disappearance
Former army soldier Jürgen Conings, whose disappearance in mid-May resulted in a month-long manhunt, may have been alive for longer than has been ...
Pandora Papers: European Parliament describes UK and US as global hubs for money laundering and tax evasion
The European Parliament adopted on Thursday a resolution taking the European Commission to task for not doing enough to combat money laundering, tax ...
Museum Night Fever returns to Brussels on Saturday night
After a break last year, Museum Night Fever 2021 is back again with free visits to 29 museums hosting performances, music and other events. The ...
More than 100 people hospitalised with coronavirus per day
More than 100 people are being hospitalised per day in Belgium as a result of the coronavirus, as the rise in new Covid-19 infections continues its ...
Digital well-being: being healthy in a hyperconnected world
There was hardly any doubt about the direction that digital innovation was moving in, but whilst the pandemic restricted human contact and slowed ...
Belgian Health Minister wants pharmacists to administer vaccines
Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke has said he wants to change Belgium's law to allow pharmacists to administer Covid-19 vaccines against, ...
Ruined photos from flood victims restored for free
Much of what victims of this summer’s deadly flooding lost is irreplaceable, but when it comes to photographs that were ruined, a Brussels company is ...
New Belgian video game aims to help children who stutter
A new video game by Belgian-American start-up Say It Labs aims to teach children with a stutter various techniques to improve their speech.  ...