Belgium Hosts Anti-Semitic Parades While Lecturing Israel

Feb. 26 2020

Last year, the annual carnival in the Belgian town of Aalst received criticism because it regularly includes life-sized caricatures based on the crudest of anti-Semitic stereotypes. The town’s mayor defended the carnival as a cherished local tradition in a purely lighthearted vein, insisting that the participants had no animus to Jews whatsoever. To preserve the parade, he even sacrificed Aalst’s status as a UNESCO “world-heritage site.” Last Sunday, the people of Aalst responded to their critics by expanding their repertoire of anti-Semitic images and costumes. Meanwhile, note the editors of the Jerusalem Post, Belgium is happy to stay on its high horse when it has an opportunity to condemn Israel:

[S]ome revelers were dressed as insects with fur-lined shtraymels [traditional ḥasidic hats], fake peyot [sidelocks], and slogans suggesting that [Jews] are parasites. . . . Some paradegoers wore lampshades patterned like tallitot (prayer shawls) on their heads. [Other] revelers were dressed in Nazi uniforms. One participant held a sign with the “rules of the carnival,” including “no Jews,” “no joking with Jews,” “certainly not speaking the truth about the Jew,” and “your drugs and black money will be for us.” In other words, this was an absolutely deliberate anti-Semitic [display].

Belgium is home to the European Union’s [capital]. It is also currently a member of the United Nations Security Council, which it heads throughout the month of February. Tension between Israel and the EU has increased recently.

Earlier this month, Jerusalem reprimanded the Belgian deputy envoy after [his country] invited a senior adviser for an organization with ties to the terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) to brief the UN Security Council. Belgium then called in [the Israeli ambassador] to protest the reprimand. It did, however, later revoke the invitation.

Belgium professes to be concerned about the welfare of children worldwide—but [apparently not] Israeli children? Only yesterday, thousands were forced to stay home from school after the heavy rocket onslaught from Gaza on the south of Israel. Israeli children were running for shelters as Aalst was celebrating its carnival.

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Belgium, Europe and Israel, European Union, Palestinian terror, PFLP

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism