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Belgium

  • Belgian Jews Struggle to Find Leader As Community Faces External Threats

    A seven-month disputed election is racking a Jewish umbrella group in Belgium as the community there faces external threats that members say require strong leadership. Part of what distinguishes the two candidates vying for the presidency of the Coordination Committee of Belgian Jewish Organizations is their approach to the rising tide of anti-Semitic incidents and… More ▸

  • Around the Jewish World Lack of Evidence Snags Restitution Efforts in Belgium

    Nine years after the Belgian government began to address Holocaust restitution, many survivors feel cheated. There is a restitution fund of $138 million, paid by the Belgian government, banks and insurance companies in 2002. The distribution of that money is running into snags, however, such as the pace of the government-appointed commission and its demands… More ▸

  • 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 ▸