Antisemitic caricature appears in Belgian textbook
parent in Bruges, Belgium’s seventh largest city, reported to the International
Legal Forum NGO that a school textbook for 15 year olds contained an antisemitic
caricature. The geography textbook was approved by the Belgian Education
Ministry and was used throughout the Western European country.
chapter in which the caricature appeared dealt with purported inequality in
water distribution between Israelis and Palestinians residing in the West Bank.
The caricature showed an overweight Jew with traditional Jewish payos (or
sidelocks) asleep in a bathtub filled with water, contrasted with an old
Palestinian woman with an empty water bucket.
cartoon, which may have come from the international human rights group itself, carried
a caption that read, “Amnesty International: Israel is denying
Palestinians access to adequate water … While settlers enjoy lush lawns and
of the International Legal Forum attorney Yifa Segal, who is deeply involved in
the international struggle against the worldwide Boycott, Divestment and
Sanctions (BDS) movement, was astounded by a copy of the textbook she obtained
and consequently sent a scathing letter to the Belgian education minister
demanding the antisemitic caricature be removed summarily.
of the caricature broke merely a week after an expansive Foreign Affairs
Ministry conference on combating antisemitism concluded.
could scarcely be believed that in 2018 Belgium caricatures exist that scream antisemitism
so bluntly,” Segal said. “This act is not only immoral but also
illegal and we demand the caricature be summarily expunged.”