Monday 12 December 2011

Belgian government anti-racist outfit accused of anti-semitism

A police commissioner has filed a complaint about antisemitic statements at a seminar on multiculturalism (Source: Joods Actueel - Centrum Gelijke Kansen nu Zelf aangeklaagd wegens racisme)

It is with immense incredulity that senior police officers heard unacceptable racist, anti-semitic and Holocaust denial statements at a course run by the Centre for Equal Opportunities and the Fight against Racism (CECLR). It is unfortunate that CECLR staff, an organisation which reports to the Prime Minister and is meant to combat racism (their record on anti-semitism is very poor) believe in vicious anti-Jewish stereotypes and are prepared to make them known in public to people who in no way share their views - the vast majority of the Belgian population firmly rejects such views. The gay community was also the target of unflattering judgments. But it was against the Jews that a 50-year-old Turkish-born female anti-racist "expert" launched a tirade:

"These people [the Jews] can get away with anything because they have money and financial power, but they also exploit our guilt [meaning the Holocaust]."

Commissioner David Vroome (43) [photo] of the Federal Police of Brussels and twenty senior colleagues attended a course hosted at the Geruzet centre in Brussels. The course on multiculturalism was given by two instructors from the CECLR.

"Never in my life have I heard such remarks about the Jewish community", said Vroom to Joods Actueel. "And the fact that they came from a CECLR employee makes matters even worse."

Police commissioner Vroom, who is a lawyer by training and worked as a lawyer in Antwerp and Brussels, recounts the scene:

"At one point we were discussing the ethnic and cultural groups in our society. It was indicated that the Chinese, the Japanese and the Eurocrats [EU officials] who live in Brussels go to their own shops and restaurants and may also have different sets of rules and behavior. This led us to the Jewish community and then the speaker made shocking statements. My attention was caught when she mentioned the "financial power" that prompts Jews to believe that they can get away with anything". But when I heard her remark that "Jews always hark back to the past" - a clear reference to the Holocaust - I was shocked. Especially since she said "that Belgium has nothing to do with it." [1].

"It caught the attention of the delegates in the room," testified another police commissioner who attended the course and who wants to remain anonymous. "The silence that followed was such that you could hear your neighbours breathing and all looked in disbelief. The other CECLR female lecturer did not react and the course continued as if nothing had happened."


The record of CECLR as regards anti-Semitism is far from satisfactory. See: Jozef De Witte, an anti Israel militant, appointed director of the Center for Equal Opportunity in 2004)

[1] It is estimated that 67,000 Jews were living in Belgium before the war. 25,000 Jews were deported, including 5,093 children of which 145 were under two years old. Of the 25,000 deported, 1,205 survived: "One deported Jew out of five was under 16. There are even children under 2. The youngest, who left in the twentieth convoy, and was not forty days old. " (historian Maxime Steinberg). "Under conditions generally very sordid men, women, children and the elderly were parked in camps that served as an antechamber to the Nazi death camps: Drancy in France, the Dossin barracks in Mechelen [Malines], Belgium [situated close the Archdiocese ...], Westerbork in the Netherlands or Italy Fossoli are among the most famous." After the war, 25,000 Jews were living in Belgium and nowadays there are between 35,000 and 40,000. Several studies have shown Belgian authorities' involvement in in the Holocaust. There are more than 1,500 Righteous in Belgium.  See HERE.

Cross-posted in French (Belgique: le Centre pour l'Egalité des chances est accusé de racisme)

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