Anti-Semitic caricature in Belgium school textbooks  

An anti-Semitic caricature vilifying Jews in a Belgium school textbook was recently reported to the International Legal Forum by a member of our legal network.

The geography textbook meant for 15 year old students and approved by the Belgium Education Ministry, shows an overweight Jew asleep in a bathtub near an impoverished Palestinian with an empty bucket, in a chapter dealing with the topic of water distribution between Israelis and Palestinians.

The cartoon carries a caption that reads: “Amnesty International: Israel is denying Palestinians access to adequate water … While settlers enjoy lush lawns and swimming pools!”

The ILF finds it disgraceful that the Belgium Ministry of Education has allowed for a  caricature employing sinister stereotypes of Jews to appear in its school books, and has written a letter demanding that it be removed immediately from all state schools in Belgium.

 

A marked distinction must be drawn between the legitimacy of presenting the claim of unequal distribution of water to Palestinians, and the illegitimacy of presenting a cartoon depicting a Jew with demonizing characteristics to portray that claim.

 

Furthermore, this act is not only immoral but also illegal.
The usage of this caricature clearly also violates the resolution adopted by the European Parliament on 1 June 2017, calling on member states and their institutions to adopt and apply the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.
“It could scarcely be believed that in 2018 Belgium caricatures exist that scream anti-Semitism so bluntly. This act is not only immoral but also illegal and we demand the caricature be summarily expunged”, said the ILF Director Yifa Segal.