Antwerp’s Jewish community: “We are being left to our own devices.”

The Belgian government has plans to halt military patrols in the Jewish Quarter of Antwerp from September onwards.  Jewish organisations are up in arms.  “We are being left to our own devices” says the Forum of Jewish Organisations.

For over five years now Belgian soldiers have been patrolling the Jewish Quarter of Antwerp to the satisfaction of the city’s sizeable Jewish community.  Belgium’s terror threat level was heightened in January 2015 leading to military patrols in the Jewish Quarter and in the vicinity of potential Jewish targets.

Hans Knoop of the Forum of Jewish Organisations indicates that at the minute he doesn’t believe there is any reason to stop the patrols: “To the contrary.  The current situation means that a terrorist atrocity targeting any target is certainly a possibility.  When this threat is high, it goes without saying that the threat to the Jewish community is extremely high.  It doesn’t make us feel good to think we are being left to our own devices.”

Bart De Wever (Flemish nationalist), Mayor of Antwerp, expects the federal government to deliver an alternative that provides equal protection.

Top stories