An email sent to EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen condemning Aalst carnival
Report by Jeremy Havardi
Dear Madam President,
On behalf of B’nai B’rith UK and its advocacy branch, the London Bureau, I am calling on you in your capacity as EU Commission President to condemn the imagery in this year’s Aalst carnival in Belgium.
We are truly outraged at the repellent display of racism at this event. In their attempt to depict Jews in the crudest and most pejorative terms, some participants at Aalst have worn hook noses and insect costumes while three Jewish caricatures have been featured alongside gold bars (photos attached). Such crude and dehumanising representations hark back to the Nazi era and the consequences of such prejudice can be lethal. Such displays also contravene the IHRA definition of antisemitism at a time when attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions are on the rise across the Continent.
We welcome the criticism of this carnival from Belgium’s Prime Minister, Sophie Wilmes and other European figures. We hope that you will also provide moral clarity by issuing a statement that condemns these hateful antisemitic displays and all those in Aalst who defend them.