Bart De Wever calls Jewish caricatures at Aalst Carnival ‘disrespectful’
Share article:
Share article:

Bart De Wever calls Jewish caricatures at Aalst Carnival ‘disrespectful’

The mayor of Antwerp has condemned the caricatures. Credit: Belga

Bart De Wever, the chairman of the rightwing N-VA party and mayor of Antwerp, which has a large Jewish community, has said that the Jewish caricatures displayed at Aalst Carnival last year were “disrespectful.”

At the presentation of a book by his N-VA colleague André Gantman on Monday, De Wever gave the thumbs down to the caricatures as well as the defence offered by Aalst Mayor Christoph D’Haese, who also hails from the N-VA.

Since late last year, the Aalst Carnival is no longer recognised by UNESCO as part of the world’s cultural heritage, as it found itself at the centre of a major controversy because of a highly criticised float with Jewish caricatures which saw similarities with pre-World War II images, that shocked the Jewish community.

UNESCO called the recognition of the Carnival into question but the communal authorities of Aalst pre-empted any action by the UN organisation by asking for its own removal from the world heritage list.

Related News:

 

“Aalst residents have had enough of the grotesque recriminations,” D’Haese had declared, ahead of the official decision. “We are neither anti-Semitic nor racist. Anyone who keeps saying that is acting in bad faith,” he added.

D’Haese has consistently defended the Carnival participants that were responsible, stressing that they had no intention of causing harm to anyone.

However, Bart De Wever stressed that he understood the feelings of the Jewish community, and that ignoring them “is disrespectful,” he said.

De Wever added that it was better to take the feelings within the Jewish community into account. “I understand very well that some images, whatever the intention with which they are presented, shock people’s sensitivities. It shows a lack of empathy. It’s disrespectful. End of story,” he concluded.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...
Belgium wants to recover €420 million in wrongfully paid out coronavirus aid
The Belgian State intends to recover €420 million of unduly paid Covid-19 aid, La Libre Belgique reported on Thursday. The electronic Council of ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...
Proximus pushes for high-speed internet in Brussels and Wallonia
Fifteen municipalities in Wallonia should soon have access to high-speed internet through the rollout of fibre optics in the region, telecoms giant ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
World’s largest chocolate warehouse opens in Flanders
On Thursday, Barry Callebaut – the largest global chocolate processor and manufacturer – opened the world's largest chocolate warehouse in Lokeren, ...
Belgium in Brief: Equal Opportunity To Dance
There's a phrase where I'm from, more often said in jest nowadays, but it came to my mind this morning: "Ye dancin'?" (Are you dancing?), one ...
Farmer discovers cocaine in banana boxes bought in Brussels
A Flemish farmer who purchased boxes of bananas at the market in Brussels on Tuesday came home to discover large amounts of cocaine packed among the ...
Changes to speed cameras increase likelihood of a ticket
Changes to the way speed cameras work in Flanders and Wallonia will increase the likelihood of receiving a ticket when cars pass them above the ...