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.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

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

Strengthening the Abraham Accords at Sea

In an age of jet planes, high-speed trains, electric cars, and instant communication, it’s easy to forget that maritime trade is, according to Yuval Eylon, more important than ever. As a result, maritime security is also more important than ever. Eylon examines the threats, and opportunities, these realities present to Israel:

Freedom of navigation in the Middle East is challenged by Iran and its proxies, which operate in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Persian Gulf, and recently in the Mediterranean Sea as well. . . . A bill submitted to the U.S. Congress calls for the formulation of a naval strategy that includes an alliance to combat naval terrorism in the Middle East. This proposal suggests the formation of a regional alliance in the Middle East in which the member states will support the realization of U.S. interests—even while the United States focuses its attention on other regions of the world, mainly the Far East.

Israel could play a significant role in the execution of this strategy. The Abraham Accords, along with the transition of U.S.-Israeli military cooperation from the European Command (EUCOM) to Central Command (CENTCOM), position Israel to be a key player in the establishment of a naval alliance, led by the U.S. Fifth Fleet, headquartered in Bahrain.

Collaborative maritime diplomacy and coalition building will convey a message of unity among the members of the alliance, while strengthening state commitments. The advantage of naval operations is that they enable collaboration without actually threatening the territory of any sovereign state, but rather using international waters, enhancing trust among all members.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Abraham Accords, Iran, Israeli Security, Naval strategy, U.S. Foreign policy