Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 - 14 of Sivan, 5780

Shocking: Belgian prosecutor drops case against café owner who displayed antisemitic sign

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BRUSSELS—The Belgian League Against Antisemitism (LBCA) has denounced as ‘’disgusting’’ a decision by a Prosecutors in Belgium to drop a criminal complaint against a Turkish café owner who put up an antisemitic sign.

In July 2014, the café in Saint-Nicolas, a town near Liège,  in southern Belgium, had displayed a sign saying dogs are welcome at his business, “but Jews are not.”

The Turkish text of the sign read, “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Jews are not under any circumstances.” The French text replaces “Jews” with “Zionists.”

The window display, which was put during Israel’s’’Operation Protective Edge’’ against Hamas in Gaza, also included a Palestinian flag, an Israeli flag crossed out with a red “X” and a keffiyeh, the Palestinian shawl, draped around it.

According to news reports, the Prosecutor’s Office in Liege dropped discrimination charges filed in 2014 by the Belgian League Against Antisemitism against the Turkish café owner . LBCA had file a criminal complaint with the Liege prosecutor ‘’over the actions of those responsible for this violation of the July 30 law against racism and xenophobia of 1981.’’

A spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office confirmed the press reports.

Joel Rubinfeld, the president of the Belgian League Against Antisemitism said he was “disgusted and deeply disappointed” by the decision, which a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office confirmed to the newspaper but declined to explain.

For Rubinfeld, the decision to drop the case hows that “the fight against racism, including antisemitism, remains in the rhetorical realm.”

Several surveys has shown that antisemitism is on the rise in Belgium. Earlier this year, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told European Jewish Press confirmed that the number of antisemitic incidents has doubled in 2018 in comparison with 2017, from 56 to 101.


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