American Jewish lobby outraged by Aalst Carnival caricatures

The influential American Jewish lobby group

American Jewish Committee (AJC) has asked the European Union to launch an investigation into the caricatures of Jewish people that were once again to be seen at the annual Aalst Carnival in East Flanders. AJC calls on both the Belgian government and the European Union to condemn the costumes used by the carnival groups portraying Jewish people as caricatures. It is also asking the EU to examine whether an article 7 procedure (that would see Belgium’s suspension from the Council of Ministers) can be started against Belgium.


AJC says that the costumes worn at the carnival “allude to the dehumanisation if Jews as vermin at the time of the Nazi regime”.  

"At this shameful moment all eye are looking at Belgium. As the Flemish and federal authorities refused to stop this grotesque display of anti-Semitic hatred and in some cases supported it straight out the Europe Union should started an investigation right away”, the Chairman of AJC’s Transatlantic Institute Daniel Schwammenthal wrote in a press statement.

"The European Commission should initiate an article 7 procedure, as the authorities did nothing to ban the anti-Semitic costumes. This clearly contravenes basic European values that have been constructed from the lessons learned from the Holocaust and the Second World War”, Mr Schwammenthal added.    

The American Holocaust Museum also expressed its outrage. In a message posted on the social media site Twitter the museum wrote "24,000 Jews that lived in Belgium were killed during the holocaust. Today deadly anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe. Events such as Aalst Carnival that promote anti-Semitism and possible encourage violence, must be condemned by all sections of society”.  

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