On Saturday the 24th of June political 'progressive' activists dressed up in Israeli military uniforms goes through the streets screaming against the people surrounding them and passers by in the city center of Nivelles, a Belgian city situated approximately 30km south from Brussels.
The occasion for this staged psychodrama was Israel's 60 years anniversary to which the organisers wanted to illustrate what their leaflets called the "expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 when Israel was created." and what they called the "disposition of the Palestinian people".
The activists who were dressed up like Israeli soldiers are screaming "You are on our land now, allez, allez, allez, hurry up, on to the trucks", "This is our place" while they are swinging their truncheons and harrassing other activists dressed up as Palestinians and passers by, the children present who are witnessing the whole psychodrama are terrified, some of the activist who are penned around dressed as Palestinians are playing along "We are scared, I got my baby in my apartment" while the 'soldier' is screaming "Move on, move on, hurry up"and to others "Down on your knees" and they are penned towards a stand with the United Nation's UNWRA written on it and ' The Bethlehem refugee camp'.
Terese Snoy, MP from the Ecolo (Greens) told the crowd.
"I was dumbfunded to witness the pressure of what happened in the municipal of Nivelles. First someone had tried to block the tractor going through the street [pedestrian] and we had to do the second tour on foot. I suppose this illustrates the capacity of the political class which unfortunately will have to submit under the pressure from certain Jewish groups. I imagine this is going on at all level. And maybe this the reason for Belgium's weak positions"
Former Belgian defense minister André Flahaut, a Socialist MP city councillor in Nivelles, compared Israel to a Nazi state.He starts declaring he is ashamed of the town and he is ashamed of his life and continues:
“Like any normal person, I am revolted when I see children suffering, when I see maltreated women, who are raped, when I see maltreated men and freedoms ridiculed. During the twelve years and half I was minister, I left no stone unturned so that the atrocities against the Jews during WWII be remembered and not forgotten. I also ask that one have the same commitment, the same determination to make that the voice of those who suffer today is heard and to avoid banalization. I am determined to fight against all exclusions, all nazisms, all fascisms wherever they are.”
The video have shocked the Jewish community in Belgium and with good reason, it paints a complete false picture of Israel and simplifies the whole Israeli - Palestinian issue, comparing Israel to Nazis is by definition Anti-Semitism - Staging such a psychodrama using the occasion of Israel's 60th anniversary leaves more than just a bad taste in the mouth and revokes the spectre of 1938 in 2008 - Telling bystanders that they [the organisers of the psychodrama] had been under pressure and harrassed from 'certain Jewish groups' is yet again awakening an other old ghost from Europe's Nazi past that of the' Zionist Occupied Governments' and Hitler's 'Jugentum'.
The Israeli Embassy has got this to say to the European Jewish Press
"This demonstration, which trivializes and simplifies the Mideast situation, and during which the organizers didn’t not hesitate to manipulate the public, presented a negative and untrue image of Israel," the Israeli embassy deplored Wednesday in a statement.
"Under cover of criticism and free expression, certain associations and certain political representatives make every effort since several years to spread shameful and intolerable confusion," the embassy said.
"By acting this way, these associations are taking an active part in importing a regional conflict in the streets of Belgium and are feeding anti-Semitism."
The embassy called on the Belgian authorities "for more vigilance in the face of such outbursts which are inciting to hatred."
Andre Flahaut who you can watch on the YouTube making his speech later denied he had made any Anti-Jewish comments.
"Psychodrame Nakba" à Nivelles
Transcript of Andre Flahaut's speech:
"Bonjour à tous et tout d'abord effectivement je suis conseiller communal de cette ville et je suis honteux pour cette ville et je suis honteux de ma ville."
"Parce que lorsque l'on interdit une manifestation ou une expression, je considère ça comme une dérive dangereuse."
"Je suis, comme toute personne normalement constituée, révolté lorsque je vois des enfants souffrir, lorsque je vois des femmes maltraitées, violées, lorsque je vois des hommes maltraités, des libertés bafouées."
"Pendant les douze ans et demi où j'ai été ministre, j'ai mis tout en œuvre aussi pour que l'on n'oublie pas et qu'on se souvienne des atrocités dont le peuple juif a été victime pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale."
"On a eu cet engagement et donc je demande aussi que l'on aie le même engagement, la même détermination, la même volonté pour faire entendre la voix de celles et de ceux qui aujourd'hui souffrent, pour faire en sorte que l'on évite la banalisation."
"Je suis déterminé à lutter contre toutes les exclusions, tous les nazismes, tous les fascismes où qu'ils se trouvent et au moment où ils se présentent."
"Voilà, c'est pour ça que je suis ici"
More: European Jewish press