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.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

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


To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy