This EPA photo shows a carnival group in Aalst, Belgium dressed as vermin and walking along today with a ‘golden’ ‘Wailing Wall‘ in this year’s parade.
Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:
Jewish caricatures again at carnival parade in Aalst, criticism of ‘hate festival’
Carnival celebrators in Aalst today have mocked the indignation about Jewish stereotypes during the annual carnival parade in the Belgian city. Last year there was a lot of criticism of a carnival float with dolls of stereotypical orthodox Jews with hook noses and money bags.
In this year’s parade, carnival society Lossendeirdeveirdeirdeir showed a ‘humour tribunal’ on its float, with a Jewish caricature with long toes at the front.
In Dutch, the expression ‘lange tenen’ (long toes) means that someone is easily offended by trivial things.
A group also walked with a ‘wailing wall’ of gold bars. Members of the group were dressed as insects and wore ringlets hair and shtreimels, fur hats worn by orthodox Jews.
“More painful than last year”
The parade immediately led to fierce criticism from the Jewish community. Eg, the European section of the American Jewish Committee calls on the European Unity to investigate Belgium because the country has allowed the “hate festival”.
Depicting Jews as vermin is reminiscent, according to the organization, of dehumanizing Jews, as happened in the Nazi era. “My stomach turns around”, Ronny Naftaniel, chairman of the Jewish Humanitarian Fund, tweeted about the procession in Aalst.
The Belgian Forum of Jewish Organizations called the caricatures in this year’s parade “even more painful” than last year’s. “At that time we could still think that it might not have been the intention to insult, but now they are doing a bit more. That really defies all imagination,” said a spokesperson for the umbrella organization to newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. …
The controversial dolls with hooked noses and ringlets hair that last year led to the carnival in Aalst being scrapped from the UNESCO list of intangible heritage were on display again today. This year the dolls were on a car with other caricatures in a kind of shooting gallery.
[Mayor of Aalst] D’Haese [of the ‘centre-right’ N-VA party]: “I have not seen any manifestations of racism or anti-Semitism”.
Belgian parade features costumes of haredi Jews with insect bodies: here.
Carnival parade in Spain features Nazi uniforms, trains with crematoria. February 25, 2020. By Cnaan Liphshiz.