Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Belgium: Pupil victim of antisemitic attack and taunts now hides Jewish identity

Testimony @ 4 minutes into the video (in French)

Christophe Deborsu, a Belgian journalist who presents a current affairs programme on RTL on Sundays, interviewed a young Jewish woman who claimed that she had been assaulted and insulted at school for being Jewish.  The young woman accepted to testify under the condition of strict anonymity. 

The string of incidents happened somewhere in Wallonia, a predominantly French-speaking region of Belgium, at her school when she was aged 16.  She did not name the city, but it is most likely Liège where there is a small Jewish community.

During a business lesson, the teacher pointed out that most of the shops on the high street in the city in question were run by Jews, implying that Jews are influential and take business out of non-Jews.  The teenager disagreed and revealed for the first time that she was Jewish.

A couple days later, during a table-tennis lesson, while the teacher had left the room for a few minutes, the teenager was pinned down to the floor, kicked, punched and she later realised that a cigarette had been stubbed out on her back.  Five to six girls were involved in the attack. She ran way and went home.

The facts were reported to the headmaster who investigated the incident. It was the victim's word against her tormentors'.  Unsurprisingly, the headmaster concluded that the Jewish girl was lying and that it was her who had assaulted the other pupils.  She was suspended from school for a couple of days.

Until the end of the school year she was taunted and told "You are a Jew", "Jews are bad" etc.  She changed schools and since then has never to his day let out that she is Jewish.  Her neighbours do not know that she is Jewish.

This highlights the difficulty in Belgium of reporting anti-Semitic incidents.  Usually the complaint is dismissed and Jews are told they like to play the victim, that they exploit the Holocaust, that Jews perpetrate genocide against the Palestinians, steal their land.  Jewish leaders are also very cautious and speak of antisemitism mostly in general terms.

One of the guests was Rabbi Guigui who told an Israeli news outlet that there is no future for Jews in Europe.  Interestingly he didn't say it on Belgian TV...

“People understand there is no future for Jews in Europe,” Belgian Chief Rabbi Avraham Gigi recently stated, citing a growing sense of fear among his coreligionists.

As we noted at the time, "The comment by Rabbi Guigui went largely unreported, notably among the Jewish leaders and organisations in Belgium such as the CCOJB and the CCLJ, whereas the French CRIF reported the comment..."

It worth noting that five times more Belgian Jews made aliyah in 2015 as compared to Dutch Jews.

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