May 21. 2024. 5:46

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‘Don’t abandon your Jewish community’, write Belgian Jewish community leaders in open letter to the Prime Minister


‘’By abandoning Israel, you are abandoning your Jewish community,’’ they wrote in the letter to Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.


The letter deplores the Belgian Prime Minister’s ‘’strong hostility’’ to Israel since his visit to the Middle East with his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez, ‘’with Belgium leading the way among European countries in radical criticism of Israel’s response’’ to the October 7 massacre.
”Our intention is not to go into an in-depth analysis of all the forces behind this war, whose consequences for all civilian populations are deeply disturbing, but to draw your attention to the direct consequences for our community of what can be described as state polarization and the importation of conflict at the highest level of government.”

Don’t abandon your Jewish community, wrote Belgian Jewish leaders in an open letter to Belgium’s Prime Minister, as the Jewish community has in recent years suffered the effects of ever-increasing anti-Semitism, which has literally exploded since October 7.

‘’After the shock, extreme sadness and anger provoked by the unspeakably cruel barbarity of the October 7 pogrom, the Jewish community is now living in deep concern for its own safety, given the strong hostility it feels towards itself,’’ reads the letter signed by Yves Oschinsky, President of CCOJB, the umbrella group for Jewish organisations in Belgium and Baroness Regina Sluszny, President of the Forum of Jewish organisations in Antwerp.

It adds: ‘’Worse still, in the absence of any sign of real empathy, she feels isolated and abandoned, to such an extent that many Jews are wondering about their future in Belgium.’’

The letter also stresses that most Jewish Belgians ‘’are attached to the State of Israel and strongly support its existence and security.’’

‘’October 7th represents an existential threat to the State of Israel, which it had a duty to defend by protecting its population, and the world’s major democracies have agreed on this essential right,’’ it says.

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The letter deplores the Belgian Prime Minister’s ‘’strong hostility’’ to Israel since his visit (in November 2023) to the Middle East with his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez, ‘’with Belgium leading the way among European countries in radical criticism of Israel’s response.’’

‘’Your recent positions no longer make any reference to the barbaric crimes of October 7, without mentioning the femicides, rapes and abject mutilations suffered by Israeli women, without even demanding the release of the hostages held captive for almost six months, and without expressing our country’s solidarity with the Israeli population,’’ the letter reads.

‘’You even asked Israel to demonstrate that it was not using famine as a weapon of war, thus demanding negative proof against any elementary rule requiring a prosecutor to provide proof of his accusations.’’

The letter also mentions the fact that several members of the Belgian government ‘’ have themselves taken part in this radical attitude against Israel.’’

‘’You know the direct link between the situation in the Middle East and the explosion of anti-Semitism, and the equation made by too many people between Israel and the Jews, whom they blame for a war 4,000 km away, for which they are in no way responsible.’’

‘’It is this importing of conflict that puts us in direct danger and worries us to the utmost, in the fear of acts of violence,’’ the letter says.

”Our intention is not to go into an in-depth analysis of all the forces behind this war, whose consequences for all civilian populations are deeply disturbing, but to draw your attention to the direct consequences for our community of what can be described as state polarization and the importation of conflict at the highest level of government.”

‘’ By abandoning Israel, you are abandoning your Jewish community,’’ the Jewish community leaders wrote.

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