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Not Funny: UN Punishes Belgian Carnival for Grotesque Images of Jews

(Image credit: CBN News)

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has removed Belgium's famous Aalst Carnival from the U.N.'s cultural heritage list for its blatant displays of anti-Semitism.

A float in this year's parade featured a Nazi-style depiction of greedy Jews, sitting on a pile of money, one with a rat on his shoulder. 

Town officials had been warned several times about anti-Semitic symbolism in previous versions of the carnival but failed to take action on what kind of floats and displays were acceptable.

A 2013 float featured a Nazi railroad car carrying Jews to a death camp.

The Austrian ambassador to UNESCO, Claudia Reinprecht said, "We really regret very deeply that the community of Aalst has not addressed this issue. But we hope that this decision will help them at least in the mid and long term to address this issue appropriately."

The leader of the Belgian League Against anti-Semitism, Joël Rubenfeld, told CBN News he had complained about the parade, but the city said it was only "humor."

"But you know this kind of humor is killing Jews, (with images) that Jews have the power, Jews have the money, Jews have the control.  All these are very basic anti-Semitic clichés," Rubenfeld said.

2019 has been a year of increasing awareness of anti-Semitism in Europe. It was a major issue in last weeks British elections, after claims of extensive anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. 

Violent attacks against Jews in Germany have doubled, and for the first time since world war two, Jewish leaders have warned that it's too dangerous to wear the Kippah or Jewish cap in some parts of Germany.    

"Me, myself, I wouldn't wear a Kippah. Unfortunately, it's not safe," said Olig Butkuvesly, a German jew, "Maybe I hope that it will be safe in the future or maybe it was safe in the past, but right now in 2019, it's not safe at all unfortunately."

A German magazine even printed a paper kippah for all Germans to wear, to show solidarity with Jews. 

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