Tag Archives: Antisemitism

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.

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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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Martin Luther “Last Words of David” (1543) a polemical work bearing the same ugly language as in “On the Jews and their Lies” (1543)

Many people do forget how Luther did not like women, Jews and Muslims.
A Lutheran pastor but not a Lutheran scholar dares to look at the works of Luther in an attempt

to go through Luther’s works interpreting scriptures which may not be as concise as many of his theological works but give me as a reader some exposure to the evolution of Luther’s thought and theology in conversation with the Word that he cherished. {An Ongoing Reference to Luther’s Works}

He also thinks

it is useful as we approach each volume to honestly look at what Luther’s interpretation over 500 years ago in his earliest works might have to still contribute in our time (and some books will be better handled by Luther’s theology than others). {An Ongoing Reference to Luther’s Works}


Last Words of David (1543) – This is a polemical work and it bears the same ugly language of On the Jews and their Lies which appeared in the same year. This is the dark side of Luther’s Christocentric way of approaching scripture.
If you want to learn about Luther’s later views on the Jewish people and Muslims this is one of the places where his anti-Jewish views are clearly exhibited.
Luther spends a lot of time revisiting the Christological debates of the early church and attempting to argue in a way that would be unlikely to convince anyone who wasn’t already a Christian. Perhaps he was trying to erase any perception that he could have been an ally to the Jewish people from some of his earlier writings, but this is really an ugly piece.
~An Ongoing Reference to Luther’s Works


Martin Luther (1523) by Lucas Cranach

Martin Luther (1523) by Lucas Cranach

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Growing anti-Semitism possible sign of certain times

The last five years there was a lot to do about immigrants but also in West Europe several people started showing more hate against Jews and Muslims. The right wing movements have been growing stronger the last decade and many are not afraid tocome on the streets to tell their disgust about Jews and Muslims.

After the Holocaust, in which some six million Jews were exterminated in Nazi occupied Europe between 1942 and 1945 under the National Socialist regime of Adolf Hitler one would think no such hate against Jews would arise. But the formation of the state of Israel in 1948 soon  created new antisemitic tensions in the Middle East. In West Europe it was considered at the beginning of the 21st century to exist only on the margins of society. Our present day situation, having to notice more acts against the Jewish people has us to see that anti-semitism is growing again as if the 1930ies did not happen. The prejudice against, the hatred of, or the discrimination against Jews as an ethnic, religious, or racial group, and is widely recognized as a form of racism is back again.

Today we should have the words of Moses in our mind

Deuteronomy 28:37 OJB And thou shalt become an object of horror, a mashal, and a byword, among kol haGoyim whither Hashem shall lead thee.

The name of Jew has long been a proverbial mark of detestation and contempt among all the nations whither they have been dispersed, and is so to this day, whether among Christians, Mohmammedans, or Pagans.

Zechariah 8:13 OJB And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a kelalah (curse) among the Goyim, O Bais Yehudah, and Bais Yisroel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a berakhah; fear not, but let your hands be strong.

Lots of people who call themselves Christian do forget that their lord Jesus Christ was a Jew. They also should see or should have to know that all nations who now worship the true God, and receive the Sacred Scriptures as His word, have derived the whole of their divine knowledge, under God, from Jewish prophets, apostles, and teachers. That the Saviour in whom all nations shall be blessed, sprang from that favoured race, emphatically explains what is meant that they shall be a blessing. The full accomplishment of this prediction in Zecharia, however, is probably reserved for the future restoration of the Jews, which for sure shall come.

On account of what we can see now we would not have much to believe that the Jews are such a blessed people. As in the old times Israel was entering a very dangerous environment in Canaan and needed strong warnings against yielding to the temptations she would encounter, we should see the many warnings in Scripture also for today. We do know we can’t avoid the suffering people try to bring over us. It is known from Scriptures that Israel would suffer physical distresses, and that her enemies would plunder and oppress her. As freedom from Egypt came to epitomize God’s grace in the past, so return to Egyptian conditions represented His judgment and now in the time that many Jews come to live in the Promised Land, others may come to hate their divine position.

The people in ancient times were commanded, when they should come into possession of the Promised Land, to erect two pillars (probably suggesting the permanency and authority of the Law) and an altar, for sacrifice and propitiation in case of failure to keep God’s law (Deuteronomy 27:1-8).  When looking at the present Jewish state we notice that there are several non-religious Jews who go in against the Laws of God. They know and consider Israel as their Promised Land, but they forget the conditions for them being allowed to be resident in it.

The elohim has it about “foreigners” or “strangers” living on this globe, we having to know as lovers of God we would be “aliens” for those of this world. So it can be idle hope to think goyim would come to be willing to accept us and to have our faith in One true God respected.

The growing xenophobia we can see for us can also be sign which we may not ignore as a sign of coming end-times. Because we can see the augmentation of earthquakes and tsunamis as well as the increase of people setting others against others, religions against religions.

The rising fixation with Jewish power in our time has unwittingly revealed Jewish emasculation instead. Jews do not control the discourse; rather, the discourse controls them.

is said by the Community Security Trust (CST) which works across the Jewish community, from the most religious to the most secular, young to old, across the political spectrum and throughout the whole of the UK.

In their aim to bring more hate against the Jewish people we find people who are not afraid to bring false news, like telling that that Boris Yeltsin and Mikhail Gorbachev were both assumed names and that the men had been born Baruch Yeltzer and Mikhail Solomonovich Gorbachev (his real patronymic is Sergeyevich). In other words, the architects of Russian misery after the collapse of the Soviet Union were secret Jews, according some.

This was outlandish even by the standards of eastern European antisemitism. It was also hypermarginal in the media. You had to buy pamphlets on the street to read about plots to dilute the purity of the Russian race by a cabal of Jews/Zionists (the two words were interchangeable). Then came the internet. These days you are never more than a couple of clicks away from weapons-grade antisemitism.

writes the political columnist in the Guardian.

But it still comes as a shock when one of the oldest and most versatile themes of the genre – the Jewish financier, dandling politicians on puppet strings, coordinating events in the shadows – finds its way on to the front page of a national British newspaper.

And that way not only the English newspaper The Daily Telegraph create a possible subtext which certain people misuse to contaminate the Jewish name.

Following the article’s publication on Thursday February the 8th, Theresa May’s former chief of staff, Nick Timothy was accused of anti-Semitism in the front-page exclusive he co-authored, and which RT UK along with many other national outlets picked up.

Anti-Semitism accusations leveled at the Telegraph following its George Soros ‘exclusive’

George Soros(L) , Nick Timothy(R) -© AFP / Global Look Press

The article outlines how Soros, described by the Telegraph as the “man who broke the Bank of England” in reference to the fortune he made betting against the sterling in the 1990s, is attempting to undermine the Tory government by donating £400,000 (US$560,000) to pro-EU group Best for Britain. The group is campaigning for a second referendum on the final Brexit deal agreed between Parliament and the EU.

The accusations of anti-Semitism were made by Guardian columnist Owen Jones, academic Bonnie Greer and King’s College professor Jonathan Portes, among others. Portes drew a response from Timothy when he asked if he and the right-wing paper were really endorsing “anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.”

Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard highlighted the controversial implications of using the phrase “secret plot.”

James Ball writes

This needs saying clearly: baiting people on George Soros conspriacy theories is a tactic currently being used by would-be autocrats and anti-Semitic groups across the world.
Theresa May and Conservative MPs should distance themselves from this tactic, and fast. https://twitter.com/markdistef/sta

This was just one incident in Great-Britain, where the Jewish community was targeted at a rate of nearly four times a day last year, according to statistics from the Community Security Trust (CST), a charity that monitors antisemitism, which recorded 1,382 antisemitic incidents nationwide in 2017.
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Additional reading

  1. The right-wing press have shot their bolt over Corbyn and are now at a loss what to do
  2. Antisemitic hate crimes hit record high as violent assaults increase by more than a third in a year
  3. Opinion It’s Not anti-Semitism if You Just Hate the Bad Jews
  4. Were There Actually ‘Jewish Perpetrators’ of the Holocaust?
  5. James O’Brien: Telegraph’s Soros Story Looks Like Rise Of Anti-Semitism – Video
  6. George Soros: The billionaire investor who became the favourite target of conspiracy theories and antisemitic hatred
  7. Arthur Jones: Holocaust denier set to become Republican nominee for Illinois congressional seat
  8. Soros’s Forced Migration of Muslims Into Europe: Eradicate Patriotism and Cause Worldwide Anti Semitism
  9. Anti-Semitism in Goa? Some Reflection
  10. Max Blumenthal: US is Arming Neo-Nazis in Ukraine
  11. Anti-semitism
  12. When is “anti-Semitism” NOT anti-Semitism?
  13. The Expanding Umbrella of Anti-Semitism
  14. New anti-Semitism Row as Nasreen Khan Selected as Labour Council Candidate.
  15. Migrants expressing anti-Semitism in Germany could face deportation – reports
  16. Ken Livingstone and anti-semitism
  17. Anti-Semitism, anti-leftism and anti-Christianity
  18. The Alt-Right, Collectivism and Why Everyone’s Asking the Wrong Questions
  19. Blatant Anti-Semitism In 2018 In Russia Insider
  20. Race Relations Commissioner Devoy on anti-Semitism
  21. Vivian Bercovici: Dear Mr. Ambassador, why is Canada funding anti-Semitism?
  22. German protests prompt fears of rising anti-Semitism — Spectre of German anti-Semitism is beginning to re-emerge
  23. #We Remember
  24. how “anti-Semitism” is used
  25. Why isn’t anti-Semitism as reviled as “Islamophobia” or anti-black racism?
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