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European Union condemns an anti-Semitic march in Belgium

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The European Commission criticized on Monday a street show in Belgium that was marred by mobile platforms that show anti-Semitism, saying that this was “inconsistent” with the principles of the European Union.

In recent years, the decades-old Carnaval Aalst Carnival, which takes place in central Belgium and is known for its mockery of public figures, has been charged with insulting shows to Jews.

Last year, the carnival lost its place on the UNESCO Heritage List due to anti-Semitism.

On Sunday, the show included caricatures of Jews who were obsessed with money and appeared as insects.

“It must be very clear that such images that we have seen should not be on display in European streets after 75 years of the Holocaust,” UNHCR spokesman Adalbert Yahens told reporters.

He said the commission, the European Union’s executive arm, had received “a number of complaints” about the carnival, but it was up to the Belgian national authorities to take action.

Yehens said that with regard to the European Commission, it “stands firm against all forms of anti-Semitism” and considers that mobile platforms “are incompatible with the values ​​and principles on which the European Union is founded.”

Deputy Chairperson Margaret Chinas said the carnival was a “shame”.

“It must stop,” she wrote on Twitter. “There is no place for that in Europe.”

The carnival attracts tens of thousands over the three days leading up to the Catholic Ashes holiday and the start of Lent. He is characterized by his prohibited provocative method.

However, Mayor of Christoph Dahasi defended the carnival and asserted that he was not anti-Semitic.

He said it was important to take into account the “general context”, saying that during the three days “the rich turn into the poor, the poor become rich, and men become women and women are men.”

“Here we laugh at everything: the royal families, Brexit, local and national politics, and every religion: Islam, Judaism and Catholicism,” he added.

A mutant platform filled with puppets of ultra-Orthodox Jews and rats and sacks of money at the 2019 Carnival caused outrage that prompted UNESCO to remove the carnival from the heritage list.

One of the carnivals, who asked not to be named, told AFP that the controversy was “exaggerated.”

Another, doctor Guy Verheuselt, expressed regret that “the Jews have no sense of humor.”

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