Belgium Hosts Anti-Semitic Parades While Lecturing Israel

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

 

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

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Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin