Belgian Carnival antisemitic parade of antisemitic goes ahead despite worldwide criticism

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It is once again unsafe to be Jewish in Europe. Jews must flee!

Belgian Carnival parade of anti-Semitic tropes goes ahead despite criticism

Israel urged Belgium to ban the traditional Carnival parade, which featured floats depicting caricaturistic mages of Orthodox Jews. The mayor of Aalst defended the festivities, saying “it is not an anti-Semitic parade.”

By DW.com February 23, 2020:

The Belgian city of Aalst went ahead with its traditional Carnival parade on Sunday, despite calls from Israel to ban the event over its anti-Semitic floats and costumes.

This year’s parade included participants dressed in costumes of caricaturistic Jewish stereotypes, with some wearing hooked noses and exaggerated outfits meant to depict Orthodox Jews. One of the floats also included three Jewish caricatures placed alongside gold bars. Some revellers were also dressed in costumes meant to represent Nazi officers.

Lawmakers in the European Parliament also urged officials in Aalst to make sure this year’s parade was free from “manifestations of hatred.”

Earlier this week, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz called on the Belgian government to ban the “hate-filled” parade altogether.

The city’s Carnival parade lost its UNESCO cultural heritage status last year over the “recurrence of racist and anti-Semitic representation.” Revelers then dressed in Nazi costumes, making fun of the move.

Mayor defends parade

The city’s mayor dismissed criticism and calls for a ban on the festivities, saying “let Aalst be Aalst.”

“This is not an anti-Semitic parade,” Mayor Christoph D’Haese told reporters on Sunday. “Aalst is not an anti-Semitic city.”

D’Haese, of the right-wing nationalist New Flemish Alliance party, added that the goal of the parade is “not to hurt anyone.”

City authorities have repeatedly defended the parade as an expression of free speech and saying the costumes and floats are intended to be satirical.

The US Holocaust Museum tweeted “24,000 Jews living in Belgium were murdered in the Holocaust. Today, deadly anti-Semitism is on the rise again throughout Europe. Events like the Aalst Carnaval parade that promote anti-Semitism and stoke hatred and potentially violence must be denounced by all segments of society.”

A float featuring caricatures of Orthodox Jews next to gold bars in a Carnival parade in Aalst, Belgium (picture-alliance/dpa/BELGA/N. Maeterlinck)

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