Belgium has had already its Black Sunday long before a bleak period came over the United States by fear mongering having succeeded and getting a bugaboo a victory.
Lots of people were caught in the nets of influencers like Bella Hadid, Kylie Jenner and Meghan Markle, not noticing how they were bombarded with advertisements by them. But several of the active influencers brought also dangerous diet plans on the market. We can wonder if they themselves are aware of their impact on food and drugs that others want to use or not want to use because of what they read?
On Facebook there were so many rumours and fake news stories going viral, it sometimes became very difficult for people to know what was real and what was fake. Because of many falsities sent out in the Belgian air, more people got sidetracked from thinking reasonable. 2019 was the year in which the Belgian radicalized at the polls. Elsewhere, too, there was a lot of contradiction, anger, and indignation.
Strangely enough certain politicians agreed with a lot of revellers that portraying Jews with hooknoses en black curls at carnival or Mardi Gras should be acceptable. Lots of people could not understand that a carnival float at a parade in Belgium could cause such commotion. There was an outrage for displaying giant caricatures of Jews sitting on bags of money.
The reaction on social media and in the press were very alarming. People even saying
The destroyers of civilisation don’t like exposure…
The truth hurts !
“They (meaning the Jews) better go to their own country”
Jews are not european, if they’re offended by this then they should go and live in israel.
Aalst Carnival before the event of 2019, was recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). After the condemnation by several Jewish organizations the “recurrence of racist and anti-Semitic representations” were at last found to be incompatible with UNESCO’s principles.
That the town’s mayor Christoph D’Haese did not see any harm in such presentation of Jews, shows clearly how even educated politicians do not recognise any more, important signals.
“Citizens of Aalst are done with the preposterous insults,”
D’Haese said in a statement to the press in December.
“Therefore we take the most honorable way out and we no longer seek UNESCO recognition for Aalst Carnival.”
Promising that there shall be more laughter in 2020 even more parading in caricature suits of Jews.
“The caricatures, like those of Der Stürmer, of Jews with a crooked nose and suitcases, are typical of the Nazism of 1939,”
Hans Knoop, as spokesperson for Belgium’s Forum of Jewish Organisations said.
Any person having some historical background training could see that this was not so innocent as some want us to believe. The carnival float featured the same imagery used to portray Jews in Nazi Germany. He and luckily also a few politicians from the left dared to say
“This was without any doubt anti-Semitic.”
and did not forget how in a previous year, some participants had worn SS uniforms, and several, last year, sang Nationalist Fascist songs. Also in 2019 in several places in the country neo-nazis had their parties going on, with Hitler saulte and so on. Sometimes we get the impression the Blackshirts are back in Belgium and lots of so-called Christian politicians are turning their eye.
It was not only in the town of Aalst, 25km (15 miles) from the European Parliament, that by grinning figures of Orthodox Jews standing on large piles of money were featured mockery was brought on another religion than Catholicism. What we could see and hear in Belgium the last twelve months was
“typical of Nazism of 1939”.
For sure, it was not only the highlighting of the “crooked noses” and “suitcases of money” used to portray the Jewish people. All the commotion around the carnival parades and about the economic and political debates of the situation in Flanders.
The Jewish community expressed itself with declaring
“At best, it is a disgraceful lack of discernment, especially given the rising context of anti-Semitism in our country and the world, at worst the reproduction of anti-Semitic caricatures worthy of the Nazi era.”
Before the election in M, lots of politicians spread all sorts of false things by which many started to believe those false sayings. Like by the Brexit poll, people like Farage and Johnson telling lots of lies, here in Belgium their friends and/or associates managed to spread similar lines, and got lots of people believing them. Falsehood or mendacity were king and queen for 2019.
Asked about the anti-Semitic nature of the float, European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said:
“We stand firmly against all forms of anti-Semitism”.
We Europeans should remember what happened in Russia in the 19th century and in Germany and the rest of Europe in the first part of the 20th century. We may see lots of people taking this lightly, or laughing it away, but as it has been proved not to be a laughing matter.
“We do not have the luxury of taking this lightly… because we have the sad privilege of having experience how this ends,”
Margaritis Schinas said.
“In the last century, we saw it once and we know how this film ends – and nobody wants to see this film replayed.”
Though, to my great regret, I am not the only one who sees lots of similarities with the 1930ies and 40ies. I have knowledge of several of my religious friends to have chosen to leave this country because they were bullied not only openly on the street, but also because them getting all sorts of things in their letterbox.
Me too, got my portion of hate mails, by so-called Christians. Today it seems not done to have another opinion than the mainstream. All have to follow one line, and by preference the one that excludes people from other nations, colour or religion.
The problem for the 2019 election was that the majority of the politicians were not honest and tried to get as much voters as they could by taking ideas from as well as the extreme right as from, that what they call, extreme left. A good thing was that a lot of parties took over the ideas for social betterment from the Workers’ Party of Belgium PvdA (Partij van de Arbeid or Parti du Travail de Belgique, PTB; stylized as PVDA+/PTB-GO!) the only political party in Belgium that operates as a single Belgian party, in contrast to all other major Belgian political parties, which are either Flemish, Francophone or Walloon, or local. By taking over the demand of a minimum wage of 14€ per hour and a minimum pension of 1500€ per month, the right wing parties succeeded to take away voters from the left. Mainly they did further with false promises and by getting people believing their lies about immigrants and Muslims.
All those lies are now taking care that after so many months, we still have no government, and can find our country in a real mess, with a lot of people afraid to show their own nature, or to speak openly about their belief.
The “Aalst Carnaval” 2019 float’s appearance coincides with what many perceive to be a rising tide of anti-Semitism sweeping across Europe. Throughout the year there were incidents in Flanders and in France. In France and its northern border towns, several Jewish cemeteries have been desecrated in the previous as well as in the beginning of this year, while Germany has recorded a 60 per cent rise in violent attacks on Jewish people.
We are afraid it is not any more the UK Labour Party taking a soft stance on the subject. All over the continent and in particular East Europe there is an alarmingly growing popularity for extreme nationalism.
For the U.K. not only UKip and Labour are guilty of anti-Semitism. Three Conservative election candidates were also investigated over allegations of anti-Semitism. Sally-Ann Hart, Richard Short and Lee Anderson are facing claims relating to their social media use. In a way that is the advantage of Social Media that certain people do not keep it privately, but have everyone looking at their profile and postings. That way people can easily come to know the true writer behind a real or fake profile.
A Conservative Party spokeswoman said
“We are committed to stamping out the scourge of anti-Semitism in our society and supporting our Jewish community.
Jewish multi-billionaire philanthropist George Soros, who has given away £32bn, has been the topic of numerous fake news stories and conspiracy theories, many of which are anti-Semitic. He has become a bogeyman for the hard right.
Concerning the Islamophobia in the Tory Party, Boris Johnson has previously apologised for the “hurt and offence”.
For the Netherlands, Belgium and France several politicians are even willing to go so far, like Mr. De Winter did, by going to make fake video’s, putting shop boards in Arabic as if the streets are taken over by such billboards. With their fake news and lots of lies, show beasts like Tom Van Grieken, the populist parties have risen again out of the darkness of black Sunday.
For official cyphers we can only say they are way from the reality because lots of Jews and Jeshuaists just not dare to go to the police or to the national equality body in Belgium (Unia, formerly the Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities) which has a mandate to receive and handle complaints from members of the public pertaining to discrimination on many grounds. In 2018, it recorded 101 cases related to anti-Semitism, a significant increase compared with 2017, when it dealt with 56 cases relating to anti-Semitism. In 2018, the national equality body received significantly more complaints in relation to anti-Semitic verbal aggression and threats (8 complaints in 2017, and 20 in 2018), anti-Semitic incidents related to the internet (22 and 52, respectively), incidents related to Holocaust denial (21 and 31, respectively), and vandalism (7 and 10, respectively). The number of complaints in other categories (for example, letters or articles, media, violence) remained relatively stable compared with 2017.
Antisemitisme.be is the main civil society organisation that since 2001, has counted the sum of anti-Semitic acts committed throughout Belgium. The acts are recorded via a dedicated telephone Hotline 0498 913 913, as well as via email@example.com and through daily contacts with the Center for Equal Opportunities and Fight against Racism, the public body responsible for combating racism and discrimination in Belgium, the Executive Office of Community Surveillance (Bureau exécutif de surveillance communautaire) and the Coordination Committee of the Jewish Municipalities of Antwerp (Coordinatie Komité van de Joodse Gemeenten van Antwerpen), with the support of the Israelite Central Consistory of Belgium (Consistoire Central Israélite de Belgique).
Jews and Jeshuaist were welcoming other people but not many did seem to know more about them or want to have contact with them.
Early in 2019, after yet another desecration of Jewish tombs and damage to shop windows of Jewish affairs, the Jeshuaist community with several Jewish groups in France and Belgium made a plea to stop the anti-Semitism and the Islamophobia.
In a few years time (from 2015-2019 the number of registered Jews in Belgium went down from 28000 to 2500).
For 2019 no official data is given yet, but a further increase is being noted. Because so many want to be silent or leave without notice some Jews and Jeshuaist made a public call to be not afraid to show Jewishness and wanted to see more menorahs at the windows, so other people could see their are more people who are connected with them and their religion. The very wellknown Chabad organisation did a lot of efforts to get their members being better known. All across Europe in big cities menorahs were lighted as a sign of hope and light in the darkness.
On December 26 a crowd gathered also in Tuxedo to celebrate the lighting of the 5th night of Chanukah with a celebration sponsored by Chabad. The shamash was lit by Tuxedo Town Supervisor Ken English. Rabbi Pesach Burston led a menorah meditation and memorial honoring the many victims, like they did in Antwerp in memory of the victims of Jersey City, upstate Monsey, New York, New Jersey and Poway. There were public candlelights at the Antwerp Opera and in the België lei.
Nobody seemingly having objection against heathen symbols or pagan symbols being carried or placed in the parliament, many came to object Michael Freilich, the only Orthodox Jewish lawmaker in the Belgium Federal Parliament, lighting candles there on Hanukkah. Him lightening the menorah near a nativity scene has provoked angry reactions, including from members of his own party. He walked through the corridors to go to his own office where he lights the menorah in a smaller room were people also could see a Christmas tree and nativity scene, which for certain Christians celebrates the birth of Jesus, in the background.
Most negative reactions came from the rightwing parties Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) and N-VA (New Flemish Alliance), but also from Groen (Green). Pieter Boudry, another party representative of the N-VA, who wrote
“No religious clothes and symbols for politicians and civil servants.”
Freilich told the media that he did not pray while lighting the candles in the video, meaning the action was an expression of his tradition and not an act of worship, though one can wounder what an act of worship would have done harm. It might be called strange when nobody protests for the many Christmas trees which are an abomination in the eyes of real lovers of God (like Jews, Jeshuaists, real or non-Trinitarian Christians and Muslims). Freilich has good reason to reply
“If we allow Christmas trees and a nativity scene, the menorah is as similar a cultural Jewish heritage item and should not be banned.”
It is good to hear the political party CD&V, which stand for Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams (Christian Democratic and Flemish) and is a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) and Centrist Democrat International (CDI), agrees with this reasoning despite the objections of some of its members.
Pinar Akbas, wrote on Twitter
“Secularism is for everyone or for none at all.”
but seems to forget that all those Catholic symbols are allowed, though no symbols of other religions.
It all shows how the politicians in Belgium use different weighing measures and are clearly influenced and fearing by what a lot of people might think when they go against the Catholic mainstream (which realy has become a minority, the active Muslims being the biggest religious group in Belgium).
In several countries of Europe rabbis expressed the hope that until humanity redirects our path to love, respect and support, their community would at least do what they can to make them feel secure in the place that offers spiritual security, their Temple or Synagogue, and pleaded
“May 2020 open the door to a safer world, a better human race.”
In January 2020 it is 5 years ago the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie (I am Charlie) was trending as thousands posted messages honoured the victims in Paris. Many involved then complain not much is chained for the better, but lots is changed for the worse, having more censur now. For that (good) reason the message on the cover of the latest issue of the magazine Charlie Hebdo reads: “New censorship… new dictatorship.”Stéphane Charbonnier who was 47 when he died), would have made of the “fiasco” of the aftermath of the attacks. No lessons had been learned and divisions were deeper, he complained on the remembrance day.
Today, French comedians seem torn between insisting on the importance of being able to joke about whatever topics they wish and worrying about the consequences of doing so.
Alongside its partners from civil society and gathering different types of stakeholder (States, online service providers, media organization and civil society) an indipendant organisation “Reporters sans frontières” RSF (Reporters without borders) became leading the creation of a new entity: The International Forum on Information & Democracy, in the hope to gather states, civil society, media and digital platforms to discuss through regulation and self-regulation solutions to ensure democratic safeguards in the digital era. For 2019 their impression is not a positive one, having noted the enormous increase of pressure to people and to journalists willing to write about the injustice done to others.
- Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
- 25 Orthodox rabbis issued a statement on Christianity
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- Donald Trump after declining numbers of people victimised for their religion managed to increase the numbers again
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- Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God
- What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism
- Apocalyptic Extremism: No Longer a Laughing Matter
- The Rise of Anti-Seminism
- If you’re going to be a hater, make sure you’ve done your homework.
- Incidents of hate have become commonplace in the U.S.A. anno 2017
- Dr. Miller looking at Jews in France
- Anti-Semitic pressure driving Jews out of Europe
- Growing anti-Semitism possible sign of certain times
- Jews In France Ponder Whether To Stay Or To Leave
- Quiz questions, views, left- and right-wing anti-Semitism
- Many members of Jewish community wondering if they are still welcome in Poland
- French rabbis of the suburbs confront anti-Semitism
- a Call to stop the growing anti-Semitism
- Numbers 10:10 Make Your Rejoicing Heard
- The danger of having less than 25 000 Jews in Belgium
- Historian Deborah Lipstadt Assesses the New Anti-Semitism
- Anti-Semitism in Austria 2018 study results
- Trump’s rhetoric is infusing a culture of Anti-Semitism
- Month of freedom and liberty with Independence Day or Deceived day
- A Quarter of Europeans are Still Antisemites
- Negative attitudes toward Jews in Europe
- To see more menorahs in the windows