Belgium

  • Jews in Belgium Concerned That Party’s Banning May Backfire

    Belgian Jews are worried that a court decision to criminalize one of Europe’s strongest far-right groupings might see the party bouncing back stronger than ever. The Nov. 10 decision by the High Court in Brussels to convict the Vlaams Blok came after the court found that the group had infringed upon Belgian law by continuing… More ▸

  • After Many Years, Belgium Begins Looking at Its Wartime Complicity

    It could be two more years before Belgium’s Parliament starts assessing the role some officials played in the Holocaust, but the process of examining the country’s responsibility in the wartime deportation of nearly half its Jewish population appears finally to have gotten under way. Earlier this month, the Center for Historical Research and Documentation on… More ▸

  • Israeli Officials Lash out at Belgium After Court Opens Door to Sharon Trial

    Israel issued stinging criticisms this week against Belgium following a controversial court ruling there. Belgium’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon cannot be tried while in office for alleged war crimes — but it left open the possibility of a trial once he steps down. The court also ruled that investigations… More ▸

  • 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 ▸