Friday, 4 November 2011
Trade union leader in Belgium threatens Jewish schools because of Israel’s reaction to UNESCO vote
Deckers wrote to Joods Actueel to say that he was sorry for the offence he had caused, but did not offer a proper apology. Neither did the Teachers' Union. The Flemish have a joke that pretends that Jews have long toes, i.e. that they are always complaining - if your toes are too long they are likely to be trodden on and hurt more easily than someone whose toes are of a normal size, hence the funny and hysterical complaints by the Jews. Implying that the Jews are sly and professional complainers. On a more serious and sinister tone, if this reaction was made public by an union leader one wonders what is said and done in private about Jews and Israel among teachers, union leaders and members. There are about 20,000 Jews in Flanders.
ANTWERP (EJP)---A trade union leader in Belgium has threatened to take action against Jewish schools in retaliation for the Israeli government policy towards the Palestinians, Jewish monthly Joods Actueel reported.
Following the vote on Monday to grant the Palestinians full UNESCO membership and the subsequent Israeli government decision to accelerate settlement building and to freeze transfers of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority, Hugo Deckers [photo], secretary general of ACOD, the Socialist trade union for the education sector, sent an e-mail to the chief editor of the Jewish magazine in which he welcomed the UNESCO vote and referred to the Israeli decision.
"If this is the (Israeli) reaction, I would be happy as union leader to bring the Jewish schools in Antwerp in the news. I fear you are going to scare," he wrote.
In his response, chief editor Michael Freilich said: "This is yet another proof of the new anti-Zionist anti-Semitism in which Jews over the world are threatened and accused of actions on which they have no control."
He continued: "We have said many times but will repeat it: Jews in our country are Belgians, Flemish. They have no influence on the situation in the Middle East.They do not go to the army, pay no taxes and cannot vote. Yes, they have an opinion about the conflict, and like everyone else they are free to express an opinion about anything and everything, whether the military action in Libya, the euro crisis or the situation in the Middle East. We live in a free country. To blackmail people because of their views or because of their religion is totally illegal."
"The reaction of Hugo Deckers is scandalous and reflects very little respect for our democratic values and poor knowledge about the difference between a religion and a nationality," Freilich added.
The Forum of Jewish organizations in Antwerp plans to lodge a complaint against the union leader.