Belgium

  • Belgian Court Rejects Attempt to Try Ariel Sharon for War Crimes

    Israeli officials are applauding the decision by a Belgian appeals court this week not to try Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for alleged war crimes. The case involved a “lawsuit that started with more politics than law, and it is lucky that the outcome is more law than politics,” the director of European Affairs for… More ▸

  • Belgium Sets Up Commission in Latest Episode of Gold Scandal

    Belgium has established a commission to determine the fate of assets confiscated from Belgian Jews who perished in the Holocaust. The commission, which is headed by a former governor of the National Bank of Belgium, Jean Godeaux, will probe the whereabouts of bank accounts and other valuables that had once belonged to the country’s Jewish… More ▸

  • Belgian Jewish Leader Resigns, Bowing to Community Pressure

    Bowing to pressure from some members of the community, the chairman of the umbrella organization of Belgian Jewry has resigned. David Susskind, 71, was re-elected chairman of the Coordination Committee of Belgian Jewish Organizations in May. But some of the affiliated organizations criticized Susskind when he also became chairman of the CCLJ, a left-oriented Jewish… More ▸

  • Belgium Refuses to Grant Visa to Ultranationalist from Russia

    Belgium has refused to grant an entry visa to Russian ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky because he poses a “possible danger for public order,’ an Interior Ministry spokesman here said. Zhirinovsky, the leader of the Russian Liberal-Democratic Party, and his Russian delegation had been invited by the European Union to take part in a two-day meeting here…. More ▸

  • Defeat of Belgian Rightists Calms Fears of Country’s Jews

    Belgian Jews breathed a sigh of relief when Belgian extremists did not succeed in this week’s parliament elections as well as had been predicated. The center-left government, led by Prime Minister Jean Luc Dehaene, held its majority in the lower house with a 17.1 percent vote nationwide. “I’m happy to say there has not been… More ▸

  • Belgian Jews Issued Warning About Extremist Candidates

    As some 7.2 million Belgians prepare to vote for members of their federal and regional parliaments in elections Sunday, the umbrella organization representing Belgian Jewry has issued a warning to the community about the vote. In what it termed an “Appeal to Belgian Jews,” the Coordination Committee of Belgian Jewish Organizations said, “Extremist parties are… More ▸

  • Spread of Revisionist Works to Be a Criminal Act in Belgium

    The Belgian Parliament has enacted a law making it a criminal offense to disseminate Holocaust-denial literature. Prior to the new legislation, Belgium was, along with Denmark, one of the few Western European countries where the publication of revisionist books was not a punishable crime. But under the new law, violators may be jailed for up… More ▸

  • Urinating on Jewish Graves Sparks Protest and Action Against Belgian

    The Belgian Jewish community has decided to initiate legal action against an extreme right-wing politician who resigned his office within days of winning a municipal election. Daniel Leskens resigned last Friday following the broadcast of a videotape showing him urinating on Jewish graves during a neo-Nazi gathering in Germany in February. Leskens, a member of… More ▸

  • Right-wing Parties Score Victories in Elections in Austria and Belgium

    Right-wing parties scored dramatic victories in elections held Sunday in both Austria and Belgium. In Austria, the right-wing Freedom Party won 22.8 percent of the vote, increasing its number of seats in the country’s 183-seat legislature to 42 from the 33 seats it won in 1990. The European Jewish Congress criticized the results in Austria,… More ▸

  • As Belgium Marks Its Liberation. Prime Minister Speaks out on Racism

    Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene has called on his government to take “concrete measures” to prevent and to suppress racist behavior. Speaking last week at ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Belgium from Nazi occupation, Dehaene said it is the duty of citizens to mobilize against racism and xeno-phobia. The ceremony, attended… More ▸