Israeli minister says Belgium should ban Aalst Carnival for ‘vitriolic’ antisemitism
Share article:
Share article:

Israeli minister says Belgium should ban Aalst Carnival for ‘vitriolic’ antisemitism

"Aalst will always remain as the capital of mockery and satire," said the mayor. © Belga

Belgium should be ashamed of the “vitriolic antisemitic” floats put on display at Aalst Carnival and ban the controversial festivity, Israel’s foreign minister said Thursday.

“Belgium as a Western Democracy should be ashamed to allow such a vitriolic antisemitic display,” Israel Katz said in a statement posted in English to his Twitter account.

“I call upon the authorities there to condemn and ban this hateful parade in Aalst,” Katz added.

The Israeli minister is the latest critic of the Flemish city’s parade, which has been repeatedly criticised and accused of antisemitism for its use of floats portraying Orthodox Jews in a stereotypical way.

In last year’s edition of the three-day carnival, floats depicting Orthodox Jews with crooked noses standing atop stacks and sacks of gold coins, with one of the figures carrying a white rat on its shoulder paraded through the city’s streets.

Related News:

 

The accusations landed the parade in hot water with UNESCO, who said the parade’s use of the floats was inconsistent with values of “respect and dignity” and signalled intentions to remove it from its intangible cultural heritage list.

After attempting to defend the floats before UNESCO, Aalst’s mayor refused to remove the floats from the carnival and announced the city would voluntarily give up its UNESCO credentials and defended the city’s right to “mockery and satire.”

“The inhabitants of Aalst suffered grotesque accusations,” he said, adding: “We are neither antisemitic nor racist, all those who say the contrary are not being honest. Aalst will always remain the capital of mockery and satire.”

Following news of the city’s self-demotion from the UNESCO list, carnival associations said they would again put the controversial floats on display during the next edition of the event.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

SKYFALL: European police complete counter-drone training in Antwerp
In a joint project between Belgium’s federal police and the Brussels Capital Ixelles Policing Area, 15 European police officers visited Antwerp to ...
Offshore wind farms could help reach climate neutrality by 2050
A study carried out by the Bureau fédérale du Plan (BFP) – an independent Belgian organisation that investigates questions of environmental and ...
STIB launches free transport for Museum Night Fever this weekend
STIB busses will run between Brussels museums for free on Saturday night as part of the Museum Night Fever celebrations taking over the capital.  ...
Heirs of Michael Jackson demand that Belgian radio show ‘King of Pop’ changes name
The heirs of American pop singer Michael Jackson have demanded that a Belgian radio programme, called "King of Pop" changes its name, their lawyers ...
More than one billion coronavirus vaccines exported by EU
The European Union (EU) has exported more than one billion coronavirus vaccines globally over the past ten months, of which just under one-tenth was ...
SNCB brings free little libraries to stations
The Belgian railway company SNCB is adding free little libraries to its stations. The “book boxes,” as they’re called, allow passengers to grab a ...
Belgium in Brief: What Is Bouncing Back?
What do you think of when you think of a country "bouncing back" after a crisis?  Cambridge Dictionary says it is "to start to be successful again ...
Café patron stabs manager after being asked to see proof of vaccination
A customer stabbed a café manager in Brussels on Saturday after being asked to show his Covid Safe Ticket (CST), according to Bruzz. Asking to see ...
Belgium to simplify administrative processes with ‘digital wallet’
The federal government wants to create an online "wallet" for all people living in Belgium which would bundle all official documents, from visas to ...
‘Start of infection wave’: Flanders to turn red on European map again
Flanders will turn red on the map of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) again this week, as the daily average of new ...
Staff strike at application centre for asylum seekers
The staff of an application centre for asylum seekers in Brussels began a 24-strike on Monday morning, meaning that no one can apply for asylum there ...
Bpost plans to merge parcel and letter services in Belgium
The new CEO of Bpost – Belgium's primary mail delivery company and one of the country's largest civilian employers – has decided to merge the ...