Category Archives: Juridical matters

Feminism not about making women stronger


Feminism isn’t about making women stronger.
Women are already strong.
It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.’
– G.D. Anderson

 

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As Europe Sends $300 Million per day to Russia for Oil and NatGas, TotalEnergies Looks After Customers in Tricky Decision

After the serious and unfounded accusations of “complicity in war crimes” leveled against TotalEnergies, the Company shares with its stakeholders its principles of conduct regarding its Russian related businesses in order to allow them understand how our Company is acting in a responsible manner. Considering the worsening conflict, TotalEnergies is also taking new steps.

TotalEnergies is a minority shareholder in a number of non-state-owned Russian companies: Novatek (19.4%), Yamal LNG (20%), Arctic LNG 2 (10%) and TerNefteGaz (49%). These companies are managed by their own staff with a limited number of secondees from TotalEnergies. TotalEnergies is also a 20% partner in the Kharyaga joint venture operated by Zarubezhneft. The Company did indeed contribute to the construction phase of these companies’ projects but has no activity or operational responsibility on those sites.

CarrZee Carbon

On Social Media.

This is a fascinating post from the Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne and some biting comments about how big business should / shouldn’t react to war. TotalEnergies isn’t abandoning Russia like other companies because that would hurt its customers.

Comments range from:

Sorry,Patrick Pouyanné. Time and again, you pick profits over morals as your primary responsibility to your shareholders. Shame on you for failing to rejectevil.

to

Very well stated Patrick. Thanks for your leadership especially in the face of this complex and dynamic situation……..energy just as water will always remain [a] potential weapon. Sanctions are easy to announce but often implementation comes with unintended consequences.

Here is a snip of Pouyanne’s Post

Patrick Pouyanné• Chairman and CEO at TotalEnergies — 1d • Edited •1 day ago

Responsibility requires us to seek answers to complex, sometimes dramatic,situations.

We are all deeply affected by the conflict in

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Elon Musk challenging Vladimir Putin


Quote of the day

“I hereby challenge Vladimir Putin to single combat”

–  Elon Musk has seemingly challenged Vladimir Putin to a fight for Ukraine.

 

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New Northern Ireland Protocol

Both the EU and Britain agreed that keeping the Northern Ireland/Ireland border open was essential to preserving the 1998 peace deal that ended three decades of sectarian violence, but argued over how to do this after Brexit.

The special arrangement, set out in a protocol, left British-ruled Northern Ireland inside the EU single market for goods, meaning it follows the rules of the bloc in this area, in particular for animal products such as meat and dairy.

As a consequence, paperwork and checks are required for certain goods entering Northern Ireland from mainland Britain, to prevent it becoming a backdoor for British goods such as sausages getting into the EU without checks.

The Northern Irish Assembly can vote after four years on whether to retain the protocol. If a simple majority votes against, it would cease to apply after a further two years.

Pro-British unionists say the protocol undermines peace by dividing them from the rest of the UK with an effective border in the Irish Sea. The discontent helped fuel the worst violence in the region for years in March and April, though there has been little such turmoil since.

At the continent, consumers in the European Union can only hope that this time the leaders of European law will stand their ground and do everything in their power to preserve and fulfil the agreements they have previously obtained.

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Please find also to read: Going the extra mile with proposal over Northern Ireland protocol standoff

EUROPE DIPLOMATIC

Brussels 13.10.2021 The UK Brexit Minister Lord Frost has proposed plans for an entirely new protocol to replace the existing Northern Ireland Protocol. In a speech to diplomats in Portugal on Tuesday, October 12, he described his new legal text as “a better way forward”.

The protocol is the special Brexit deal agreed for Northern Ireland to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland. Unionists argue it undermines Northern Ireland’s constitutional position in the UK and creates a trade barrier.

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Queensland legalises assisted dying

The Australian state of Queensland is the latest jurisdiction to legalise euthanasia and assisted suicide. Nearly all of Australia now has access to “assisted dying”. In due course, someone will have to study why and how Queensland, a largely rural, socially conservative state with a substantial indigenous population, jumped on the bandwagon.

The final vote in the unicameral parliament was 61 to 30, so the bill passed easily. About 50 sensible amendments were proposed and debated and none of them succeeded.
All this suggests that the battle was lost long ago. Why? I don’t have a clear idea. Perhaps some of our readers may.

Michael Cook  of BioEdge

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Necessity of free press for Hong Kong

We are convinced there always has to be free independent press. We find that freedom of expression, speech, press, is essential for a community.

Since more than a year that freedom of thought has been brought in danger by silencing critical writers. With regret we have seen the many difficulties which inhabitants of Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR) have to face.

The highly developed territory and ranks fourth on the UN Human Development Index, its pictures show us a city that has the largest number of skyscrapers of any city in the world. Ranked 4th in the Global Financial Centres Index, one would think everything must go incredibly well in that city. But that is without regard to the overlooking and dominating power of the parliamentary communist apparatus.

What never should have happened, was presented by the agreement of the United Kingdom and China, Hong Kong being transferred to China on 1 July 1997, after 156 years of British rule. This instead of making Hong Kong an independent sovereign country.

Political debates after the transfer of sovereignty have centred around the region’s democratic development and the central government‘s adherence to the “one country, two systems” principle. After reversal of the last colonial era Legislative Council democratic reforms following the handover, the regional government unsuccessfully attempted to enact national security legislation pursuant to Article 23 of the Basic Law. {Wikipedia}

Before the British government handed over Hong Kong in 1997, China agreed to allow the region considerable political autonomy for fifty years under a framework known as “one country, two systems.” But probably they use another calendar than ours with very short years!  Soon they started to limit the inhabitants their movements and way of thinking.

From the central force in Beijing, everything was done to reduce the movements and influence of the Hongkongers. Beijing has cracked down on Hong Kong’s freedoms, stoking mass protests in the city and drawing international criticism.

In the wake of the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement as a non-profit outlet funded by Hongkongers, the newspaper Hong Kong Free Press was launched in 2015. Hong Kong Free Press is a non-profit, English-language news source seeking to unite critical voices on local and national affairs. Free of charge and completely independent, HKFP arrives amid rising concerns over declining press freedom in Hong Kong and during an important time in the city’s constitutional development.

In 2020, we got to hear how Beijing passed a controversial national security law and came to see how dozens of pro-democracy activists and lawmakers were arrested. We could also see the inappropriate violence coming from the government, and violence provoking actions of the police force, dimming hopes that Hong Kong will ever become a full-fledged democracy.

On 15 October 2015 a video shot by a TVB film crew appeared to show seven police officers haul off a handcuffed protester from a freshly cleared Lung Wo Road to a dark corner in nearby Tamar Park, Admiralty. As the officers circled the protester, some allegedly took turns kicking and punching him while others stood over him, keeping watch. Despite an effort by the station to downplay the footage and remove it from subsequent broadcasts, the video quickly took Hong Kong by storm, stirring public outrage and catapulting the victim of the apparent attack, Civic Party activist Ken Tsang, to the status of an instant icon. The Occupy protests were violently crushed without mercy, and up to today we regularly get new shots of press people and protesters being arrested by the police. From some people apprehended by the police a few months ago, nothing is heard any more.

No wonder the public lost their trust in the local police after the many secret missions of the forces and the many police interrogations, certainly after the 2015 blockage of the Hong Kong Free Press website in China. Any websites or apps that undermine Party rule, or have the potential to, are typically blocked. This consists largely of western news media, social networks, and sites built on user-generated content. Other content deemed vulgar, pornographic, paranormal, obscene, or violent is also blocked. Some western websites, apps, and services are blocked in order to prevent competition with domestic, homegrown alternatives.

blocked in china hong kong free press
(Find which sites are blocked in China by the Chinese Communist Party’s technological and legislative efforts to regulate the internet: >  censorship watchdog websites greatfirewallofchina.org and blockedinchina.net.)

The easiest way to access censored websites in China is to use a VPN (Short for virtual private network) But because VPNs being not so cheap subscription services that encrypt internet traffic and route it through an intermediary server outside of China, this allows only a limited audience to use it to bypass the Great Firewall and freely access the web.

In 2020 Hong Kong Free Press has been shortlisted by the UK-based Index on Censorship for their annual Freedom of Expression Awards.

index censorship hong kong free press

Hong Kong pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily continued its operations and printed 500,000 copies of Friday’s paper after its headquarters were raided by the police on Thursday 17 June 2021, and five senior executives were arrested on suspicion of violating the national security law.

Apple Daily raid June 17, 2021

Dozens of Hong Kong police enter Apple Daily’s headquarters in Tseung Kwan O on June 17, 2021. Photo: Apple Daily.

It was the second time in 10 months that the newspaper, founded by Jimmy Lai, had been raided. Police said the warrant used on Thursday was issued under the security legislation, and gave them power to search for and seize journalistic material.

Lai, 73, who was arrested during the first raid last August, is serving 20 months in prison for protest-related offences and also faces charges under the Beijing-imposed security law, which provides for penalties of up to life imprisonment.

According to local media, those arrested included Next Digital CEO Cheung Kim-hung and Chief Operating Officer Royston Chow, Apple Daily’s Editor-in-Chief Ryan Law, Associate Publisher Chan Pui-man and Cheung Chi-wai, who manages the newspaper’s online news platform. All were arrested in the early hours at their homes.

Police said their operation was not targeting the press, adding the force “had no choice” but to enforce the law inside a media company.

 

Please find to read:

  1. Hong Kong justice chiefs accused of ‘shameless double standards’ for dropping charge against reporter from state-owned media outlet
  2. Two senior execs at Hong Kong’s Apple Daily formally charged with national security ‘conspiracy’
  3. ‘Very heartbreaking’: Hong Kong media reel as security law targets democracy paper’s reporting
  4. Hong Kong police raid Apple Daily office, editor-in-chief among 5 arrested under national security law over articles
  5. Hong Kong’s Apple Daily may halt publication this Sat, pending Fri board meeting
  6. ‘#Hong Kong is very beautiful’ hashtag trends online after Watsons Water bottles taken off shelves
  7. Taiwan pulls trade office staff over Hong Kong ultimatum
  8. Embattled democracy coalition cancels Hong Kong’s annual July 1 march; will discuss disbanding

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Related

  1. Two Hong Kong newspaper executives charged under security law: police
  2. HK democracy supporters snap up Apple Daily copies
  3. Apple Daily: Hong Kong police raid sparks rush on newspapers
  4. Hong Kong’s RTHK fires popular pro-democracy radio host Tsang Chi-ho
  5. Post-Work Life in Hong Kong
  6. Blockchain could boost fintech in HK, but city is lagging
  7. Hong Kong newspaper chiefs on trial for security charge
  8. Pro-democratic executive of Hong Kong Media appears before court
  9. This is the worst of times
  10. Hong Kong court denies bail to Apple Daily’s editor, publisher
  11. Sunday Morning: News From Zurich, London, Copenhagen & Hong Kong
  12. Hong Kong seeks integration with mainland China, says Carrie Lam
  13. Hong Kong’s Apple Daily paper to shut within days
  14. John Ross: from Trotskyism to power-worship
  15. Hong Kong’s Apple Daily may halt publication this Sat, pending Fri board meeting
  16. Hong Kong pro-democracy paper Apple Daily says to decide on closure on Friday
  17. UN rights chief eyes visit to China’s Xinjiang ‘this year’
  18. Hong Kong’s Biggest Pro-Democracy Newspaper Likely to Shut Down This Week After National Security Law Raid
  19. Hong Kong’s last pro-democracy newspaper may be forced to suspend operations after government crackdown

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The Plight of Uighurs beyond the Great Wall

Because too much money involved the EU and USA are not willing to make more effort of pointing their finger at the discrimination and forced labour. The Eu citizens should demand their governments more to react against the deplorable state of affairs and instances of rights violations.

Uighur = Turkish Muslim ethnic group having close ties with Central Asian nations, with a population of nearly 11 million living in the Xinjiang province of China

China’s government has gone up to the extent of curtailing the Uighur religious, cultural and commercial activities.

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To remember

  • gross + egregious human rights violations in internment camps in Xinjiang, China against Uighur Sufi Islamists > systematic repression Uighur Muslims in China ~~ to root out Islamic extremism and separatism
  • oppression of minorities
  • intolerance towards the religious minorities
  • re-education camps” functioning in Chin => serious violations of human rights by subjecting religious minority to forced labour and forced sterilisation supplemented by constant and intense surveillance.
  • systematic repression + political indoctrination => serious international humanitarian laws violation
  • global silence and inaction on the matter
  • stern actions ought to be taken
  • responsibility is on us to fight this evil that is breeding right before our eyes for if not curtailed timely this might find its place in the history as one of the biggest catastrophe upon humanity since the Second World War.

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Find also to read:

  1. Who are Uighurs?
  2. The Hard Edge To The Soft Power Of Chinese Patriotism
  3. Genocide of Uighurs Does Not End Muslim Support for China​
  4. China targets Uighurs with more prosecutions, longer prison terms: HRW
  5. Rape as a Weapon of Genocide: Systematic Sexual Abuse Within China’s Internment Camps
  6. Does Joe Biden relativize the genocide in China? “There are different cultural norms in every country”
  7. Dutch parliament: China’s treatment of Uighurs is genocide
  8. China slams Dutch motion declaring genocide in Xinjiang
  9. Uighur author tells of imprisonment and China attacks
  10. China’s treatment of Uighurs is not ‘a different norm,’ but ‘genocide,’ activist says
  11. China committing genocide against Uighurs: report
  12. Legal Report on Uighurs: China breaches every Article in Genocide Convention
  13. Actions against Uighur minority: Trudeau stands exposed after refusing to meddle in China’s internal affairs
  14. Uighurs: China bans UK MPs after abuse sanctions
  15. China lashes out at H&M, Nike over criticism of human rights abuses in Xinjiang
  16. See, that’s what Uighurs are really afraid of…
  17. Human Rights Drives Deeper Wedge Between Beijing and Washington
  18. Canada’s parliament says China’s treatment of Uighurs is genocide
  19. Canada’s parliament says China’s treatment of Uighurs is genocide
  20. Canada should be ready to weather any export issues to deal with China: O’Toole
  21. The Plight of Chinese Uighurs – A Story of Structured Minority Cleansing
  22. 04/06/21 Reuters: Chinese ambassador to Turkey summoned over response to Uighur claims: source
  23. US senators match House bill to assist Uyghur refugees
  24. The Uighurs, Allies, and China
  25. Where do Ideas Come From?
  26. Uighurs and The Forgotten Protection
  27. Still no word from Toon Lampoon’s China correspondent
  28. Proposing #StopUighurHate Protests Across China
  29. Chinese hackers used Facebook to target Uighur activists with malware
  30. China-based hackers used Facebook to target Uighurs abroad with malware
  31. Xinjiang shakedown: US anti-China lobby cashed in on ‘forced labor’ campaign that cost Uyghur workers their jobs
  32. Blinken says US must deal with China as Beijing ramps up aggression abroad
  33. AI and its Impact on Government Surveillance Capabilities and the Suppression of Uighur Muslims in China
  34. John Kerry believes it’s OK to use slaves to fight global warming

The Human Rights Blog

This article is authored byAstha Sharma, the Senior Editor of the Human Rights Blog, CASIHR.


“The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?”

George Orwell (1984)

This article elucidates the predicament of Uighur Muslims in China. It traces the roots of the problem and sheds light on the deplorable condition of this community and their systematic repression. The oppression of minorities by majority is not a new story however in the current day and light oppression to this extent and through such means is chilling and deserves appropriate action from the global community.

Introduction

It was noticed after a long time, it took longer to condemn and even longer to act. The predicament of the Uighur Muslims gained…

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Facts: Why they matter and how to check them

In the age that the majority of the younger generation does not want to spend time to read serious in-depth articles and only has an eye for eye-catching titles or just some short notices on social media and likes to do cherry-picking of short reviews of sayings without fact checking, our world needs to keep offering more details and research journalism as well profound scientific research.

As it has been always, mankind has to keep doing self-introspection as well as investigating all the information which comes unto him or her.

Living in the golden age of misinformation it is up to reasonable figures to put things right and to dare to speak up when it is going in the wrong direction.

In the United States of America too many allowed too often some people claiming that there were “alternative facts” and “fake news”. By not reacting against the false accusations the 45th President of the United States of America continually could spread certain ungrounded ideas and succeed his brainwashing. It was then only a little step to fulfil his “State Terrorism” and bring people to storm the symbol of democracy, the Capitol. The dignity and fate of American democracy will now largely depend on how politicians will deal in the next few days with that president’s call to go to the Capitol and claim their rights.

We can wonder how many noticed and were willing to react on the way Donald Trump showed no respect at all for ethics and human values, and how he disintegrated every rule of public and political decorum and conventional wisdom.
What happened on January 6th was the result of too many people having been silent and letting it happen.

The U.S.A. should now receive its Wake-up call and come to see what a similar act happened as in 1938. D. Trump managed to get his followers to break many glasses and to enter the house where Trump wants to be the boss or having all power. Here in Europe we only can hope more people in the States shall come to see that D. Trump is of the same calibre as the one who instigated the Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass, also called the November Pogrom(s) in Germany. It is a fact that the four years of Trump and his call to the people is just a prelude to worse things to come if we allow it to continue.

It is high time enough people will stand up and shall come to open the eyes of the many blinded people and making them receptive to facts they were previously ignorant but also many blindly dismissing them as “fake news.”

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To remember

  • Many people = living in an alternative reality > everything that agrees with them = true, + anything that disagrees with them = biased, fake news or “just an opinion.”
  • fact checking = to boil down to, “from a source I like => true, +  if from a source I don’t like => false,” ==> extremely faulty & dangerous dichotomy.
  • all prone to cognitive traps & biases
  • Scepticism = skill to be practiced + requires training
  • fact = objective statement of reality > inherently apolitical
  • opinion = subjective perception of reality based on individual views, beliefs & preferences.
  • flawed thinking = pervades science denialism
  • veracity of a politician’s statements & reported actions matter > People are impacted by things politicians do & say
  • search & look for a broad range of sources
  • Many view fact checking as an exercise to find sources that agree with them, but = opposite of how it should work.
  • fact check = look for primary + well-respected secondary quality of source + verifiable information + agreement among sources
  • objective ways to evaluate whether or not a source is biased
  • look at evidence presented > verify & compare

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Preceding

Shall the American again being put to the test

Yup

The Weight of History

He Becomes a Fool Through His Endless Desire

Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’

The one that exploded the great American story that lay beneath it

The Trump clan declares itself a Kennedy-like dynasty

So-called own sacred values under threat

U.S.A. Investment in a demagogue

Dear Mr. President

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Additional reading

  1. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  2. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  3. At the closing hours of 2016 #1 Looking down at terror
  4. In denial, Donald Trump continues to insist that nothing serious is at hand and everything is in control
  5. A president daring to use the Bible for underlining his hate speech
  6. Trump going over the top bringing a blasphemous act
  7. The Hero of the greatest …. failures
  8. Hollowness of democracy
  9. A new decade, To open the eyes to get a right view
  10. 2020 in view #1 The 45th president of the U.S.A.
  11. 2020 in view #2 The 45th president of the U.S.A. not willing to go
  12. Stress-test for democracy #1 Storming of the Capitol in Washington
  13. Stress-test for democracy #2 A coup d’etat with bloodshed
  14. The death knell of an Empire
  15. 💬 Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: 🧠 Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity 

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Related articles

  1. It Was Hate
  2. Donald Trump’s Impeachment
  3. Big Tech pauses political issues after the Capitol uprising
  4. The 147 Republicans That Still Objected To The Election Results After The Capitol Attack
  5. Systemic Failure: Trump Was Right About the Deep State
  6. High school teachers, students learn from Capitol breach
  7. What is Malignant Narcissism?
  8. ‘Ruling Class’ Trump-Doubters Still Don’t Get It. And They’ll Pay A Price
  9. Ep 69: Coup The New Year
  10. Capitol, Legacy of Trumpism and China
  11. Ep 70: Crisis at the Capitol, Crisis in the Church
  12. So you want to impeach president Trump …. again
  13. How big tech companies reacted to the Capitol storm.
  14. Trying to make sense of it all
  15. Jake Angeli Brings to Light the Hatred of Whites Pervasive in America
  16. Don’t mistake an assumption for a fact
  17. Facts aren’t political (or religious)
  18. The fallacy fallacy: Reject the argument not the conclusion

The Logic of Science

We seem to be living in the golden age of misinformation, and while cognitive biases and motivated reasoning have always existed, they seem to have reached epidemic levels in recent years, with attacks on the very nature of facts coming from the highest offices in the land (the phrases “alternative facts” and “fake news” come to mind). Many people seem to be living in an alternative reality where everything that agrees with them is true, and anything that disagrees with them is biased, fake news or “just an opinion.” Indeed, I have frequently encountered an open disdain for facts and those who check them. For many people, fact checking seems to boil down to, “if it came from a source I like, then it is true, and if it came from a source I don’t like, then it is false,” but that is an extremely faulty and dangerous dichotomy. So…

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Neutrality or silence vs Taking sides


””Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
~ Eliezer “Elie” Wiesel KBE (September 30, 1928 – July 2, 2016) was a Romanian-born American Jewish writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor. He was the author of 57 books, written mostly in French and English, including Night,.”

 

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Aalst Carnival and Unia analyses reports

Area of action: Society

Grounds of discrimination: Racism

In December 2018 Unia pressed in anti-Semitism hearings in the Belgian Senate for the reintroduction of an anti-Semitism watchdog. The organisation asked Minister Kris Peeters, at that time responsible for Equal Opportunities, to take the first steps towards an inter-federal action plan against discrimination and racism. Anti-Semitism remains a persistent problem. The calls being made by Unia in 2018 were in response to a large-scale survey of 16,000 Jews in twelve EU countries by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), a human rights agency of the EU.

The findings of the report make for a sobering read. They underscore that antisemitism remains pervasive across the EU – and has, in many ways, become disturbingly normalised. Already in 2018 an overwhelming majority of survey participants felt that antisemitism was getting worse. They also feared for their own safety, and that of their loved ones. Though we also could notice not only the monotheist Hebrews or Jehudi were targeted. Jeshuaists and Muslims, worshipping the same God were not loved either and felt the pressure. Jeshuaists and Jews belonging to different Judaic denominations protect themselves by not coming out to much in the open and by leaving their kippa at home, only discreetly displaying mezuzas, avoiding certain areas in their cities or skipping Jewish events.

The many graphs contained in the report reveal a sobering picture of Belgium. Except for France, Jews do not experience anywhere in the EU as much hostility on the streets as they do in Belgium. Among those surveyed, 81 percent mentioned public spaces as the place with the most hatred of Jews. The European average is about 70 percent.

“These are figures that require a structural approach in the form of a vigilance unit and a plan that overarches policy areas,’

stressed Unia director at that time, Els Keytsman.

Already in 2018, a shocking statistic sended a clear message:

in the past five years, across twelve EU Member States where Jews have been living for centuries, more than one third say that they consider emigrating because they no longer feel safe as Jews.

In the meantime, we know about many Jews and Jeshuaists who left Belgium.

Vlag van het Vlaams BelangMuch too many people seem to forget how antisemitic acts can have a profound impact not only on individuals and those close to them, but also on the Jewish community as a whole. Several manifestations may bring forward all sorts of the types of antisemitic acts which we see increasing since a decade and by the growing popularity of two Flemish National parties, the right-wing populist Flemish nationalist Vlaams Belang, with a strong anti-immigrant message that succeeded the right-wing Vlaams Block, and the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA – New Flemish Alliance), a movement that self-identifies with the promotion of civic nationalism, which strives for the secession of Flanders from Belgium.

The last few years in Belgium and France we have seen an increase in desecration of Jewish cemeteries, vandalism of Jewish buildings or institutions, expressions of hostility towards Jews and Jeshuaists in the street and other public places, but also an enormous antisemitism in the media. It is incredible what we can find on the internet, including social media, where nobody seems to be willing or able to silence the hate-speech.
In 2018 antisemitism online was already seen as a particularly widespread problem: a large majority of all respondents in the 12 survey countries (89 %) consider this either ‘a very big’ or a ‘fairly big’ problem, and as many (88 %) believed that it had increased over the past five years. The percentage of respondents indicating that antisemitism on the internet is problematic is especially high (at least 90 %) in Belgium, France, Italy, and Poland. In Belgium and France, a majority of respondents rated almost all antisemitic manifestations that the survey asked about as ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big’ problem. These are also the countries with the highest proportion of respondents indicating antisemitism in general as a problem.

The majority of respondents of that survey are aware of legislation that forbids discrimination based on ethnic origin or religion – some 64 %–87 %, depending on the area, indicated knowing about it. They are most aware of anti-discrimination legislation in employment and least aware of protection related to housing. Most respondents (71 %) also say they are aware of an organisation in the country that offers advice or support for people who are discriminated against, but we should be aware that out of self-protection most Jews and Jeshuaists do not dare to react or bring the problem into the public. Respondents most often referred to Jewish organisations specialising in the safety and security of the Jewish community and/or antisemitism, and national equal-ity or human rights bodies. Lots of Jews and Jeshuaists lost their trust in the Belgian State and in Belgian politicians.

Fortunatelyserious incidents are today punishable by law. For example, in 2018 Unia was a civil party in the case against the vandal who caused serious damage in the Jewish quarter of Antwerp.

“Unia was also a civil party in the case concerning the attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels.”

Last November Unia was calling for a more inclusive image for folkloric events and intangible heritage such as the pre-Lent merrymaking and festivity carnival. Unia said local organisers and partners can play an important role in this. That is one of Unia’s recommendations in a report drawn up following the controversy about the anti-Semitic float in the municipality Aalst, on the Dender River, 24 km (15 miles) northwest of Brussels.

Unia feels that dialogue and awareness must be a priority.

“What is offensive to one person is apparently folklore for another. Showing consideration for other people’s sensitivities can never be simply imposed by law. Only through dialogue can we take into account the feelings of others and learn to see things from their point of view. “

That is why Unia organised meetings between Belgium’s Forum of Jewish Organisations and a group of Aalst carnivalists.

“Their float – depicting anti-Semitic stereotypes – was unintentionally reminiscent of Nazi propaganda. We understand that many people were shocked by this connotation, and it led to a highly polarised conflict. We have seen that both parties now have an understanding of each other’s position and context. Talking to each other does not guarantee that stereotypes will never crop up again, but it is a start.”

It could have gone the right way, but this year, it uncovered the hidden agenda more clearly. From what was presented at the cortège was more than just laughing with something that bothered them. It was showing their disgust for another culture and other religion than theirs.

Much too often we hear the excuse

“For carnivalists, freedom of expression means the freedom to make fun of anything and anyone.”

Though, one should question how far one can go with mockery. Unia says

“Conversely, that freedom also means that you are bound to provoke controversy now and then, and you have to be able to deal with criticism.”

People from Aalst seem to have lots of difficulty with the criticism they received over the last twelve months.

Lots of events happening in Aalst real lovers of God would never come to know if they were not shown on television and brought into social media.
Thanks to social media, images of parades and festivities are reaching the general public on an unprecedented scale and are thus amplified and sometimes, or more than once, may be taken out of context. Moreover, while in the past, traditions were not called into question, this questioning has now become appropriate, Unia notes.

“As such, that is a positive thing. Folkloristic events can evolve according to changing attitudes and new insights, allowing them to become celebrations in which no one is left out”,

according to Keytsman.

We do find politicians and organisations for protecting civilians, should recognise historical similarities and see the dangers behind certain events, which, in the beginning may look harmless and childish, but have a very deep and dangerous undertone. Puerile actions may develop into actions out of frustration and dissatisfaction which generates aggression against certain population groups.

This year out of frustration, how they were treated by Unesco, everal people in the parade mocked the specialized agency of the United Nations (UN), using Jewish caricatures as well.

But, from what we came to see and hear in the media, it went much further.

Unia promises to collect all the information and will investigate whether criminal offences were committed. For this, they are in contact with the prosecutor’s office and the police.

We wonder how Unia is going to act or take juridical prosecution against the group who had their float a sign labelled

“regulations for the Jewish party committee,”

and it included a not to misunderstand sarcastic:

“Do not mock Jews”

and a shocking

“Certainly do not tell the truth about the Jew.”

which clearly indicates they have formed an idea about Jews in general and do want others to believe that Jews have something to hide or do not want to have the truth about them told. This means those carnavalists understand the truth about the Jews is not or may not be told!?!

Rudi Roth, a journalist for the Antwerp-based Joods Actueel Jewish paper, said the expressions of anti-Semitism in Aalst this year were more numerous and prominent than last year. He called it a

“backlash effect.”

Coming closer to the event celebrities gave notice not having free time to come to the parade. Several politicians backed out of appearances with Aalst’s mayor, who has defended the parade displays.

According to Christophe D’Haese of the right-wing New Flemish Alliance, carnival is not an anti-Semitic event and should be seen in its context of

“everything is allowed”.

He said the event

“certainly has anti-Semitic elements,”

the likes of which he said had not been on display since the end of the Nazi occupation in 1945.

With good reason Rubinfeld said

“Aalst’s name is now associated with anti-Semitism,and that’s partly because of the mayor’s inaction.”

With questioning eyes, we are very curious to see whether Unia this year will make a real effort to go to court and make it clear that what has been shown this year in Aalst has been far out of proportion in our society and cannot be admitted.

+

Preceding

What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism

Anti-Semitic pressure driving Jews out of Europe

Perhaps Anti-Semitism for lots of people isn’t always easy to see

What makes you following Christ and Facebook Groups

A Jew and Muslim walking together side by side down USA city streets

Speaking up and Celebration of Purim

Numbers 10:10 Make Your Rejoicing Heard

Niet te negeren gebeurtenissen rond Joden in België

Hoe ver kan men gaan om zich te beroepen op Vrije meningsuiting

Aalst Carnaval: Unia analyseert meldingen

++

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