Aalst Carnaval 2020 a further anti-Jewish demonstration

What would your impression be when you find a group of people drinking lots of beer and dancing to a playlist that combines German heavy metal rock — the kind favoured by neo-Nazis — with traditional Jewish tunes like “Hava Nagila” (“Let us rejoice”)? They, laughing with Jews, presented at Aalst Carnival a float driven by men wearing Haredi costumes, fake hooked noses and silver face paint, featuring a large parchment sign proclaiming six “regulations” handed down by the made-up “Jewish festival committee.” They included:

“No Jews in the procession; no mocking Jews; don’t ever tell the truth about the Jew; what the Jew wants will happen; all drugs and black money is ours.”

The many carnival revellers who said that the truth about the Jews had to be told, at some point gave a clear sign that they had a hatred of Jews in their hearts which is deeply rooted by their frustrations (for their own lesser situation).

A man wearing a fake hooked nose and carrying a sign warning readers not to “tell the the truth about the Jew” at the annual procession of the carnival in Aalst, Belgium, Feb. 23, 2020. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

Gestapo flagWe do know, the people from Aalst do not mind to mock with Jews. In 2013, we could see certain participants dressed like Nazis walking around wearing cans labelled “Zyklon B” — the poison that the Nazis used to kill Jews in gas chambers. This year there were many who treated the spectators with their representation of the political police of Nazi Germany, the Gestapo. One might wonder if those revellers wearing shiny black long coats and red armbands, that was clearly meant to evoke the Nazi uniform, would really understand the impact of such representation on people of the older generation. I sincerely can not see the fun of it, certainly when you hear how they talked about Jews, democratic institutions and democratic politicians.

Last year’s float featuring caricatures of Orthodox Jews atop money bags, March 3, 2019 Aalst Carnaval

Last year, one float featured two effigies of Haredi Jews holding bags of money. One had a rat on his shoulder. This year a group went further and dressed themselves in ants, giving the impression

“Jews are vermin we have to get rid of, because they always moan at a wall though they have nothing to complain about, them being the moneymakers of this world”

(hence the Western Wall in gold-coloured blocks) in the Flemish dialect of Aalst ‘Muur’ being (Oilsjts) ‘Mier’, which is in Flemish and Dutch the insect “Mier” or “Ant”.

Last year’s float with the Jews counting their money, spurred UNESCO to strip the carnival of its credentials as a world heritage event. The group that prepared the float insisted that it wasn’t meant to offend. I wonder what this group really wanted to express and if they are aware how some observers could be shocked by what looks like a reference to the rich history of depicting Jews as vermin in Nazi and other anti-Semitic propaganda.

For many inhabitants of Aalst it might all be just a joke, like it was considered too in the 1920ies and 30ies.

This year it was really over. The few pictures which we could see on the television screen were revolting. Disgusting to hear Flemish people talk that way about other people. In any case, the major of Aalst, Christoph D’Haese from the right-wing party N-VA (the New Flemish Alliance) got what he wanted, a town which profiled itself as anti-Semitic, having the right to say they want all those people, they do not want to have in Belgium or in the future state of Flanders, out of this country.

But Belgium is not the only country where anti-Semitism is on the rise and carnival revellers love to present Jews and Nazi’s in the carnival parade.

In Campo de Criptana, a municipality and town in the province of Ciudad Real in the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain), they also love to shock. There they also loved to make fun of the murder of millions of Jews by the Nazis.
A carnival troupe danced through the streets of that Spanish town dressed like Nazis and Jewish concentration camp prisoners next to a float made to look like crematoria, sparking outrage from Israel’s embassy in Madrid and Jewish groups.

The town council of Campo de Criptana said permission for the display of dancers wearing striped outfits to look like those of concentration camps, while waving flags of Israel followed Nazi officers in a Holocaust-themed procession, put together by the El Chaparral Cultural Association, had been given on the understanding that it would commemorate the dead of the Holocaust. But it is difficult to see in that presentation a sincere respectful commemoration of the horror that flooded this part of the world in the previous century.

In Aalst, for the press, the mayor posed for pictures against the float that read

“don’t ever tell the truth about the Jew.”

D’Haese had also defended the 2019 display when UNESCO called it anti-Semitic, saying the condemnation

“takes the display out of the context, which is one of satire.”

He has additionally stressed how the Aalst Carnival mocks Christians, Muslims, Asians and blacks, whereas the outrage is only over mockery of Jews.  For the last two carnival parades, you might say his point is partly true. Five years ago the Muslims were also mocked at and this year some floats featured Asians with screw heads for eyes and black people with exaggerated lips.

At the moment we can see an evolution of growing anti-Semitism which we can not allow in our regions. European nations must collectively fight this anti-Semitism and

No to the anti-Semitic presentations at Carnival parades (Aalst Carnival 2019)

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Please find also to read:

  1. What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism
  2. The fight against anti-Semitism is also a fight for a democratic, value-based Europe
  3. Luca Jahier, EESC President on the present intolerance
  4. Anti-Semitic pressure driving Jews out of Europe
  5. The danger of having less than 25 000 Jews in Belgium
  6. 2019 was #4 a Year of much deceit in Belgium and the rest of Europe
  7. Auschwitz survivors providing a warning of rising anti-Semitism and exclusion of free thinking
  8. Perhaps Anti-Semitism for lots of people isn’t always easy to see
  9. Aalst Carnival and Unia analyses reports

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Related

  1. Niet te negeren gebeurtenissen rond Joden in België
  2. Haat tegen verarming en tegen Israël nieuwe manier om Joden te haten
  3. Prinsesjes en carnavalstoestanden #1 Aalst Carnaval 2019
  4. Carnaval 2020, een Ontsporend feest
  5. Hoe ver kan men gaan om zich te beroepen op Vrije meningsuiting
  6. Corona en carnaval makkelijk gebakken broodjes voor verhogend racisme
  7. Aalst Carnaval: Unia analyseert meldingen
  8. Europees spilland en antisemitisme
  9. Gemelde antisemitische voorvallen neemt toe

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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4 Responses to Aalst Carnaval 2020 a further anti-Jewish demonstration

  1. Marcus Ampe says:

    Joel Rubinfeld, the anti-racism activist, told Cnaan Liphshiz, the reporter of the Jewish Telegraphic Association, that he thinks the mayor made “a huge miscalculation” by refusing to stamp out Jewish references in the 2020 parade.

    “He let a few bad apples taint the entire barrel,”

    Rubinfeld said.

    If that’s true, the effects were felt far beyond the barrel.

    Following the carnival, Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs, the chief rabbi of neighbouring Holland, told Cnaan Liphshiz that he dreamed on Sunday night that he was forced to decide whether to warn his congregants to leave the Netherlands — an issue he’s been struggling with for several years. In the dream, he felt the weight of leadership that rested on Jewish community leaders in the 1930s and 1940s, he said.

    “We’re not there yet, I’m not sounding that alarm yet,”

    he said.

    “We can live and prosper in Europe. But the fact that it’s even on my mind is a new development that scares me.”

    Cnaan Liphshiz hahas his own fears, with which he has been grappling for years living in Amsterdam and revisited following the Aalst Carnival. he says

    “If depicting Jews as insects is now permissible just outside the capital of the European Union, whereas it was unthinkable just 20 years ago, who knows what things will look like 20 years from now?”

    At one point during the event, his Belgian colleagues became aware of his presence there — perhaps because his reporting on last year’s edition was a key factor in the uproar that led to the UNESCO delisting.

    “Do you think this is an anti-Semitic event?”

    one Belgian colleague asked him and from the Commercial Flemish television VTM and the newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws he got a similar question.

    “It isn’t,”

    he said,

    ” but it does have anti-Semitic elements that make me feel uncomfortable. I don’t support banning it because I believe in freedom of expression,”

    he added, saying further:

    “I’m actually having a good time here, I told my colleagues, adding that my main regret is that my kids can’t enjoy it with me.

    And I meant it. I’m considering taking them here next year because they’d have a blast and wouldn’t even notice the handful of Jewish references that I and my colleagues had sought out.

    One wrinkle: I’m not so sure we’ll be in Europe next year.

    Not for the first time in recent years, I found myself looking at housing options in Israel on the train out of Aalst.

    With each new incident that reflects the mainstreaming of anti-Semitism in Western Europe, I’m increasingly considering the merits of moving my family to the Jewish state.

    For all of the problems in Israel, at least events like the Aalst Carnival amount to little more than a bad joke somewhere far away.”

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    • Marcus Ampe says:

      And the government does not seem to do enough to counter this growing trend. Most parliamentary members are afraid to stamp against the shins of the majority of the Flemish lower class, who are already magnetised by the populist parties. The major of Aalst being a member of the right-wing N-VA party does not help, because in heart and reins he and his party are really against people who have not the so-called “Flemish roots” and do not keep to “Flemish traditions”.

      Like

  2. Reblogged this on hungarywolf and commented:
    Guest blog from Marcus Ampe…

    Like

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