Aalst Carnival: Unia analyses reports
Just like last year, Jewish caricatures and stereotypes were shown during the carnival in Aalst. Unia received several reports about this. We understand that some of the caricatures shocked and hurt people, and will further investigate the facts.
Several people in the parade mocked Unesco, using Jewish caricatures as well. Unia will collect all the information and will investigate whether criminal offences were committed. For this, we are in contact with the prosecutor's office and the police.
We regret that anti-Semitic stereotypes were used again, because we know that stereotypes can lead to prejudice and discrimination. We therefore continue to insist that the local authorities seize the opportunity to work on an inclusive Aalst Carnival that brings people together. In this, the mayor has an important responsibility to depolarise and de-escalate.
Unia encourages intercultural awareness in folklore traditions
Unia is calling for a more inclusive image for folkloric events and intangible heritage such as carnival. Local organisers and partners can play an important role in this. That is one of Unia’s recommendations in a report drawn up following the controversy about the anti-Semitic float in Aalst.
Unia worried about anti-Semitism in Belgium
Unia will today again press in anti-Semitism hearings in the Belgian Senate for the reintroduction of an anti-Semitism watchdog. The organisation will further ask Minister Kris Peeters, now responsible for Equal Opportunities, to take the first steps towards an inter-federal action plan against discrimination and racism.
European civil servant victim of anti-Semitic attack: perpetrator convicted
The Brussels Criminal Court ruled in favour of Unia and a European civil servant, declaring that the anti-Semitic hate speech and assault were aggravating circumstances. The incident was described as ‘serious and unacceptable’. Unia director Els Keytsman is concerned about the verbal abuse and threats against the Jewish community in Belgium.
Unia welcomes conviction for vandalism in Jewish district
Unia welcomes the conviction by the Antwerp criminal court of the man who plagued the Jewish district. Unia believed there was a clear hatred motive behind his actions, which is why it joined the action as a civil claimant. Unia regularly draws attention to the need to investigate cases of anti-Semitism or holocaust denial.