Thursday, February 8, 2018

Belgium: Antwerp police say alleged car-ramming attempt on Jewish father and son was not a hate crime

Via JTA:

A Belgian watchdog group on anti-Semitism said the near ramming of a Jewish father and son in Antwerp was a racist attack, but police said the suspect was inebriated and was charged merely with reckless driving.

In a statement Monday, the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism, or LBCA, said its lawyers have initiated a criminal court case against the driver who on Saturday narrowly missed with his car the father and son while they were walking on the sidewalk. In Belgium, third parties in certain alleged offenses can sue defendants, who are then often exposed to criminal proceedings.

The father and son were dressed in Hasidic garb.

“The act appeared premeditated and the motivation, in the absence of any other explanation, should be seen as anti-Semitic,” the statement read, adding that the case “is immediately reminiscent of car-ramming terrorist attacks recorded in Barcelona, Berlin, Jerusalem, London, New York, Nice and Stockholm.” (...)

The incident in Antwerp is one of several recent cases in which Jewish groups and authorities in Western Europe disagreed on the role of anti-Semitism in the actions of alleged perpetrators of violence, including in Amsterdam and Paris.
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