Anti-Semitic poster kills debate on Zionism in Belgium


(JTA) — A Belgian municipality has cancelled a debate on Zionism following complaints about organizers’ use of anti-Semitic imagery to advertise the event.

The event, planned by the Brussels branch of the Belgian Socialist Party, was cancelled on Monday following criticism of a poster showing a caricature of a snake-eyed Israeli soldier wearing the mask of an ultra-Orthodox Jew. The soldier is depicted holding one finger on the scales of justice, tipping it toward a single white man. A group of people of color are depicted on the other side. 

“This kind of caricature that stigmatizes an entire community is of course unacceptable in form and essence,” Vittorio Mettewie, the Socialist Party president for the area of Molenbeek, is quoted as saying on, a news website.

Mettewie also said there were "Nazi overtones" to the caricature, which advertised the event titled, “Let’s talk freely and seriously about Zionism.” 

The cancellation followed criticism by Alain Destexhe, a lawmaker in the Brussels region, who said the caricature was “worthy of Nazis propaganda about the all-powerful Jew.” CCLJ, a Belgian Jewish group, also said it smacked of fascist stereotypes about Jews.

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