Wiesenthal Centre Slams Belgian Government Move to Label Israeli Products from "West Bank" as Act of Economic Antisemitism

November 27, 2021

"This campaign against Israel recalls Winston Churchill's Definition of Belgium: 'A Manufactured Country'.”

"Perhaps the Antwerp diamond industry, nicknamed 'Little Gaza products', should be labelled 'Made in Israel' and the Brussels Muslim Quarter be renamed 'the Independent Republic of Molenbeek'."

PARIS -  “’A Manufactured Country' applies to Flemish Dutch - and Walloon French - speaking Belgians and a history of Judeophobia even when colonizing Africans," noted the Centre Director for International Relations, Dr.Shimon Samuels. 


The forty-year (1922-1962) Belgian colonialism in Rwanda-Burundi and Congo primarily brought Belgian merchants bent on enrichment and usury. They were followed by more brutal “eugenists,” measuring the circumference of Tutsi skulls with their calipers. Obsessed with racial/ethnic classification, they claimed the Tutsis superior to the Hutu, ironically calling them "the Jews of Africa." They were precursors to the twisted Holocaust experiments of Mengele. Belgium thus left a legacy that erupted in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.


In April 1941, over 200 Flemish National Unionists committed the “Antwerp pogrom,” burning two synagogues and smashing Jewish shops. In 1942-1944, over 25,000 Jews were deported, mostly to Auschwitz, via the SS Mechelen transit camp. Of these, less than 1,000 survived.


Yser Tower Memorial in Diksmuide, a monument to the soldiers who fell in World War I, has become the pilgrimage shrine for the Flemish Nationalist movement. For the last 25 years it is, each summer, a rallying point for neo-Nazis from across Europe.


In 2009, UNESCO granted Cultural World Heritage status to the Flemish city of Aalst. Its 2013 Carnival saw a float portraying SS-uniformed actors whipping victims in concentration camp garb, holding canisters marked “Zyklon B gas.”


In 2019, a float portrayed Jewish stereotyped figures grasping gold coins and infested by rats. The Belgian authorities claimed that these outrages were acceptable as “freedom of expression.”


In Brussels, the so-called “Capital of Europe,” the Jewish community has been struck by antisemitic terrorism emanating from a growing demographic radical and jihadist Islamism.


Antwerp hosts a mostly Orthodox Jewish community, with many involved in the diamond industry. At a meeting attended by Samuels at the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency, an Antwerp representative called the area around the Jewish neighbourhood “Little Gaza.”


The Belgian Government’s present “policy” against the Jewish State - now including BDS (Boycot, Divestment, Sanctions) reminiscent of the Nazi 1930's "Kaufen nicht bei Juden" (Do Not Buy From the Jews) - is the latest in a long litany of antisemitism, despite the current federal Prime Minister being a Jewish woman.


"Perhaps the Antwerp diamond industry 'Little Gaza products', should be labeled 'Made in Israel' and the Brussels Muslim Quarter be renamed 'the Independent Islamic Republic of Molenbeek'," suggested Samuels.

For further information contact Dr. Shimon Samuels at csweurope@gmail.com, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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