Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Belgium: Israel’s FM welcomes UNESCO’s decision to delist carnival over antisemitic float

Yossi Lempkowicz @ European Jewish Press:
Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Israel Katz has welcomed UNESCO’s “moral and principled decision” to remove an annual carnival in the Belgian city of Aalst from the organization’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity over repeated charges of anti-Semitism.

“In the 21st century, during a time when anti-Semitism is once again rearing its ugly head, there cannot be any tolerance for this ugly phenomenon,” he said.

“We expect the Belgian government to come out clearly and concisely against the inclusion of anti-Semitic displays in the carnival. The scourge of anti-Semitism threatens not only the Jewish people, but every society and country in which it exists. The world must come together in the fight against it,” he added.

UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage said during a meeting in Bogotá, Columbia, last Friday that it would remove the Aalst carnival “over recurring repetition of racist and anti-Semitic representations.”

In March, the carnival included a float that featured caricatures of large-nosed religious Jews standing next to bags of money, with one carrying a rat on its shoulder.
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Alost carnival 2009

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