When looking at the recent heathen festival “Carnaval” it looks like for the majority of Belgians antisemitism isn’t always easy to see. Last year there were already anti-Jewish groups in the carnival parade and this year they multiplied like the Coronavirus, where not many spoke about.
Already for a few years now, we can see that in Belgium Anti-Semitism moved quietly through each of the lives of many Belgians — in a tweet, or a joke, or a conspiracy theory — seemingly not having just impact on those it directly touches. It impacts us all.
Strangely enough, it seems that a lot of Belgians do not seem to see or can not recognize anti-Semitic words, phrases, ideas, and caricatures for what they really are — hatred, bigotry, discrimination. I was not present at the carnival parade in Aalst, but what I could see on the Flemish television was something one could expect many years before World War II, but not after that horrible period. On one of the cars hung a pamphlet whit something which shocked me Só Much, that I did not write it down, for being able to repeat it here or to fill in a complaint against the hate message and the anti-Semitic words written on that car!
The call for Jews having to go to Israel and to hide behind the Wall can not be called Jewish-friendly. “Muur” (Wall) may be “Mier” (Ant) in the dialect from Aalst, but to present Jews as ants can only be called “a bit inappropriate”.
The major of Aalst and many people from Aals, saying one has to be able to laugh with and at people and circumstances, may call for questioning how far one may go with mockery with situations and with persons or religious groups.
Certainly, in these times of a horrific rise in anti-Semitism, politicians should point to the fact of such matters to their citizens and should try to bring them to their sense. Though, the major of Aalst always when he was given the word, seemed to put more oil on the fire by just to dismiss it as something that is not understood by many outside Aalst.
Together, we can identify and expose the hate that’s hiding between the lines. Those with any good feeling of ethics and decency should call for a reaction of “Unia”, the centre “For equality, against discrimination”.
What is going on in this country should ring a bell for the democratic parties and should bring the European Union sound the alarm, calling the national government to take action.
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