21

Lekeu wou ooit in Hollywood een scenario verkopen rond de Bende van Nijvel.

Voor de episode regeringsformatie 1985 dacht ik aan het volgende scenario: Gol is er niet bij aanwezig omdat hij ontvoerd is, al dan niet fake, door dezelfde bende die later Vanden Boeynants zal ontvoeren. De eisen? Diplomatiek paspoort voor bepaalde mensen en vrijgeleide om o.a. in Bierset hun zin te kunnen doen, en om de winsten van die handel ongemoeid te kunnen wassen in speelautomaten en casino's, plus volledig bevriezen van onderzoek naar Bendefeiten. Indien eisen niet worden ingewilligd: bloed op parkings, verdere ridiculisering van de rijkswacht, dossiers rond roze balletten naar de pers.

Dat moet dan na november zijn geweest.

23

vleermuisje1971 wrote:

Dat moet dan na november zijn geweest.

Chronologisch klopt het perfect, aanslag Aalst is in volle regeringsformatie.

Ultiem pressiemiddel: DNA-spoor naar Prins Albert, plus foto’s en film van Prins Albert met daders. Vroem vroem, genoeg rondgereden op dit forum vandaag. Motor mag eventjes uit. Tot morgen.

Uit de archieven van Walter De Bock:

23.12.85: Onderzoekscel Bende van Nijvel op kabinet van Gol:

Vernomen wordt dat Justitieminister Gol een speciale onderzoekscel ivm. de bende van Nijvel op zijn kabinet heeft geïnstalleerd. Ze bestaat uit twee personen die rechtstreeks aan de minister moeten rapporteren over de stand van het onderzoek. Het gaat om een Lt. kolonel Closset van de rijkswacht (een specialist inzake bewakingsfirma's waarover hij een tesis maakte voor zijn BEM-diploma) en inspecteur Collignon van de GP die inmiddels behoort tot de GIA.

Bush-Cheney Cabal:Pedophilia, Arms Dealing, Murder (continued)

But before Judge Connerrote could act, the Minister of Justice removed him from the case. As a result, there were no indictments, and the case was, for all practical purposes, closed.

Why was Cools murdered, and why did senior government officials move to shut down the investigation, on the eve of indictments?

Cools was murdered within days of his return from a fact-finding trip to Geneva and Lucerne, Switzerland where he had conferred with ex Iraqui banker Abdullah Zilka and Israel's leading arms dealer Shaul. Eisenberg, who had brokered the sale some time before of a sizable interest in Gerald Bull's Space Research Corporation to South Africa's state owned arms manufacturing company, Armscor.

Bull, no stranger to the covert world of arms trafficking, had entered a lucrative joint venture to produce a new type howitzer
with Beligum's premier arms manufacturers and "charter member" of the European explosives cartel, Poudrieres Reunies de Belgique(PRB), in which British arms merchant Gerald James's Astra Company (that had frequently employed Mark Thatcher, son of Lady Thatcher as a highly paid consultant) had purchased a controlling interest in 1989.

Cools had most imprudently announced to the Belgian press after his return from Switzerland, that he would soon release startling evidence about corruption in Belgium's growing arms industry and its ties to the Canadian billionaire Bronfman brothers, a number of major U.S. political figures and republican fat cats with influence reaching into the inner circles of the Bush White House.

Among the names that Cools promised to present evidence on were Dick Cheney, Neil Bush, Frank Carlucci, Donald Rumsfeld and members of the powerful Republican Barbour and Racicot clans who all own large shares in major arms manufactuerers as well as Britain's Jonathan Aitken, Thatcher's secretary of state for defense who had large holdings in a string of British arms suppliers and was a leading figure in the Tory Party hierarchy.

Cools was murdered before he could release his findings. Cools had also investigated the the deal Bull had made with Saddam Hussein, a deal which proved fatal to him, to design and build a "super gun". Bull's deal with Iraq had been bankrolled by Societe Generale, the banking arm of the Societe Generale de Belgique, a holding company of the Belgian royal family which owns 40% of the country's industry.

Despite Israeli protests lodged in London and Washington, D.C., every aspect of the Bull deal with Iraq had been cleared at the highest levels of the Thatcher, Reagan and Bush administrations. If the political and criminal intrigue In the Gerald Bull case were some of the matters that Andre Cools had intended to expose at the time of his assassination, it was not only the "Belgian connection" to the East-West arms smuggling scandals, of which he was aware.

The Belgian-Iraqi contracts had been negotiated by Count Herve de Carmoy, a French nobleman and member of the Trilateral Commission and Bilderberg, who was the international director of Britain's Midland Bank and the co-chairman of Societe Generale de Belgique, representing the interests of a large block of French shareholders which included Valery Giscard d'Estaing as well as Jean Marie Le Pen.

Ironically, Count de Carmoy had traveled to Baghdad in 1989, to work out the final details of the Bull contract with Iraq, along with plans to build a series of chemical plants as well.

Those plants would later be described as "chemical weapons factories by the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell and obliterated by "coalition" bombing raids in the first Gulf War.

Belgium, which hosts the headquarters of NATO, enjoys a disproportionate power status within the European Union. Brussels is a hub of arms dealing and military-industrial espionage.

Furthermore, Societe Generale de Belgique also exerts considerable control over the second major arms producer, Fabrique Nationale, which produces the Browning pistol under licence from the United States. The Belgian Banque Bruxelles Lambert was deeply implicated in one of the early United States-Israeli covert arms programs, Operation Demavand.

(Of interest is the fact that Rudy Giuliani, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York brought indictments in that case against nine defendants including three Israelis and a BrigadierGeneral and Colonel connected to Mossad.

The case was brought to trial by Giuliani, but after one week, when defense attorneys presented the trial judge with compelling reasons to allow them to subpoena George H.W. Bush, the government dropped its case.]

One of the leading Belgian government officials of the 1980's, Jean Gol, who served as defense minister and also as interior minister,was a cousin of East Germany's Stasi Colonel, Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski.

Gol was also the head of the Belgian-Israeli Friendship Society, and was widely reputed as having direct ties to the Mossad. The relationship between the cousins, who met regularly in Brussels, Vienna, and Stockholm, has never been publicly investigated.

Another Antwerp-based arms smuggling outfit, Casalee, which had been set up originally in Rhodesia in the 1970's to smuggle weapons to the regime of Ian Smith, was involved in many of the covert arms deals to Iran and Iraq during the the 1980's, in particularly some of those permitted by the Balsemao regime in Portugal, to be transshipped via Israel from Setubal. John Bredenkamp, its founder and director, eventually moved his firm to Great Britain at start of the 90's.

Cools was also on the board of directors of the Bierset Airport near Liege, which was a major point of departure for many arms shipments to Iran and Iraq by Belgian, British, and U.S. interests during the period of the United Nations Arms Embargo. That airport was also under investigation for the smuggling of weapons by the CIA to the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) in Algeria.

On August 17, 1996, the five-year cover-up of the Cools murder, and potentially a great deal more, came to a shocking end, when Belgian police raided a house in a small city in the French speaking sector of the nation,and rescued two young girls who had been kidnapped and imprisoned there by a pedophile ring for their pleasure.

The raid, which netted a large number of documents, computer disks with lists of names, resulted in the arrest of Marc Dutroux, a well-known criminal and low-level police informant.

The Dutroux arrest unraveled an international pedophile ring involving Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, the U.S., Great Britain, Japan and the United Nations and its agencies.

The names found on the computer disks reached into the highest levels of politics and society in the various countries and institutions, including some of the very members of the Belgian government who had originally been implicated in the assassination of Andre Cools.

By arresting Dutroux, the Belgian authorities were simultaneously able to round up many of the people responsible for the assassination of Cools.In the interim, Dutroux led police to the burial site of four young girls, all of whom had been ritually murdered by his pedophile colleagues. Within a short time, over 30 people had been arrested, including a number of high-level politicians, judges, and senior police commanders.

The prosecuting judge in the Dutroux case was Jean-Marie Connerrote, the same judge who had been dismissed from the Cools murder case before he could issue indictments.

Among those he arrested in August 1996, and charged in the Cools murder, was Alain Van der Biest, a leading member of the Belgian Socialist Party and a one-time political ally of Cools and a shareholder in PRB. A second senior Belgian Socialist, Guy Mathot, was briefly detained, but eventually released in the Cools case

As of this writing (2004) he is still under investigation, according to a number of detectives on the staff of Judge Connerrote. The judge also arrested two Italian Mafia leaders linked to the imprisoned "capo di tutti capi", Salvatore "Toto" Riina and his longtime "capo-regime" Giovanni "the Pig" Brusca, who had played a prominent role in the Cools killing.

[Riina, head of the Corleone crime syndicate, had been jailed in 1993 despite the fact that he had been a covert asset of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, who had helped the DEA, together with Tomasso Buscetta, to make a case against his rival Gaetano Badalamenti in the famous "Pizza Connection" case.]

Soon after the arrests in Belgium, the Tunisian police arrested two Tunisians accused of being the gunmen in the Cools murder. They were extradited to Belgium, and subsequently confessed to the killing.

The Tunisian government informed Judge Connerrote that the two men were part of the GIA arms smuggling ring that had operated out of Bierset airport; a ring that included a significant number of members who had been part of the Afghani mujahideen during the 1980's and some who later joined Usama bin Laden in the new Al Qaeda.

The Dutroux pedophile ring investigation is still expaning in several companies even though Dutroux has finally gone to trial. At the time of his arrest, Dutroux was running a car-theft, drug smuggling, and pedophile operation that was in business in the Netherlands, France, and Germany. He was closely tied to a senior Portuguese diplomat, Jorge Ritto, a former ambassador to South Africa and Permanent Representative to UNESCO who is a close friend of the agency's Secretary General, Koiichiro Matsura.

Ritto has been implicated and jailed as a major figure in Portugal's Casa Pia pedophilia scandal. Another leading figure dredged up in the widening circle of the Dutroux pedophilia operation, Jean Michel Nihoul, managed the group's finances out of posh offices on the Avenue de Louise in the heart of the Brussels business district. He managed a string of Dutroux's properties which functioned as pedophilia clubs in various countries, including a sumptuous and secluded villa in the Caribbean at which leading U.S. political figures, governors and members of Congress could satisfy their pedophile perversions safe from media sleuths.

Nihoul had been in and out of jail since the 1970's, on a wide range of money-laundering, drug-trafficking, and prostitution charges. He was also a leading power in Belgian right-wing political circles, a close friend of U.S. General John Singlaub and Rev. Moon of the World Anti-Communist League as well as to men in the upper echelons of the Sasakawa Foundation. Nihoul was also a power in Belgium's Christian Social Party.

In the 1980's,Nihoul ran an ecology cult, called Eco Vie, through which he became friends for a time with the late Pym Fortuyn, a Dutch politician who was murdered. The organization itself served as a front for many of Nihoul's criminal activities. Nihoul was also involved in the earlier "L'Affaire Pinon" a series of pedophile orgies managed by the wife of Dr. Pinon.

The Nihoul expose raised fears among some of the Belgian elites, that the pedophile indictments would force the reopening of an earlier case, involving the 7th January 1986 murder of a Juan Mendez of Fabrique Nationale.

Mendez was responsible for providing false "end-user certificates" for shipments of arms destinedfor for Iran,Iraq, and several African
countries on the United Nations' arms embargo list.

The Dutroux-Nihoul case also sparked a revival of interest in a parallel case unearthed in the United States, as part of the late 1980s Congressional and special prosecutors probes of the Contra Supply operations.

The American case involved CIA- Col. Oliver North initiated drugs-for money-for weapons operation, and also the Franklin Credit Bank of Omaha, Nebraska,run by Larry King, a powerful African-American Republican Party operator, whose savings and loan institution was used to launder funds for Oliver North's Contras.

When former Nebraska state senator John De Camp undertook a probe of King's activities , he uncovered a nationwide pedophile ring, servicing some of the wealthiest and most powerful figures in the Omaha business and political elites in the Republican Party circles of George Herbert Walker Bush (see 'The Franklin Cover-Up, Child Abuse, Satanism and Murder in Nebraska,' by John W. De Camp, {Lincoln Nebraska: AWT, Inc., 1992}).

On October 14, 1996, the Supreme Court of Belgium removed Judge Connerrote from the Dutroux case. The ostensible reason given for his removal was Judge Connerrote's appearance at an event sponsored by the parents of Dutroux's victims. The Supreme Court's action caused spontaneous demonstration in every city in Belgium, culminating with a march by 300,000 people in Brussels on October 20.

The newspaper Het Volk editorialized, "Like a magnet, this (the firing of Connerrote) has attracted all of the hidden anger of all
Belgians... anger because the rights of criminals are better protected than those of the victims."

Another major newspaper, Le Soir, opined in an editorial that Judge Connerrote had to be removed "because he was unwilling to refrain from subpoenaing major U.S. diplomats and high government officials, as well as key figures in the Dutch and Portuguese pedophilia cases." Both editorials linked the pedophile case with the recently solved Cools case, a case that highlighted official bungling, corrpuption and lies.

Source » conspiracyplanet.com | Oswald Lewinter

Belgium’s Attitudes toward Israel and the Jews

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, November 9, 2011
Filed Under:   Anti-Semitism


No. 111,
Interview with Jehudi Kinar
Belgium has a complex political system that is difficult to analyze. It is a federal state and there are tensions between its two major populations, the Dutch-speaking Flemish and the French-speaking Walloons. The country’s attitudes toward Israel and the Jews are convoluted.
Israel has more friends in Flanders than in Wallonia. Several senior members of the Flemish Liberal and Christian parties have very positive attitudes toward Israel. The right-wing separatist N-VA party is currently the largest in Flanders. Its leader Bart De Wever is hostile toward Israel and has opposed the apologies of Antwerp mayor Patrick Janssens, a Socialist, for the municipality’s misconduct during the Shoah. Out of principle the Israeli embassy does not maintain relations with the extreme-right Vlaams Belang.
In Wallonia the Socialists are the leading party and often take hostile positions toward Israel. Israel’s friends there are mainly among the Liberals, even if some of their leaders are also anti-Israeli. The major Walloon media also frequently display very problematic attitudes toward Israel.
The number of Jews in Belgium is estimated at around forty-five thousand. Most live in Brussels and Antwerp. The two communities are equal in size but very different in character. In Antwerp, one- third of the Jews are ultra-Orthodox, another third are modern Orthodox or traditional, and a further third are secular. In Brussels, however, more than 90 percent of the Jews are secular. There are also a number of smaller Jewish communities in cities such as Ghent, Liège, and Charleroi.
“Belgium is a country with a complex political system that is difficult to analyze. It is a federal state and there are tensions between its two major populations, the Dutch-speaking Flemish and the French-speaking Walloons. A few years’ retrospect on the country’s convoluted attitudes toward Israel and the Jews makes it easier to understand these issues in the present. This is the more important as many leading politicians from that time still hold senior positions.”
Jehudi Kinar was the Israeli ambassador to Belgium and Luxemburg from 2003 until the end of 2007. Before that he had postings in the Netherlands, Germany, the United States, and Canada, and at home he has held various Foreign Ministry positions including political adviser to the mayor of Jerusalem. He is now willing to share insights stemming from his work as an Israeli ambassador in Belgium, which was and remains a problematic country for Israel.
Kinar relates: “I arrived in Brussels as the new Israeli ambassador on 7 January 2003. Five weeks later I was recalled by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Belgium then still had universal jurisdiction concerning crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide. This was irrespective of whether there was any Belgian aspect to the alleged misdeeds.
“Under this law the Belgians were then still intent on prosecuting Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, former Israeli chief of staff Rafael Eitan, and the former head of Northern Command, General Amos Yaron. All three were accused of coresponsibility for the murder of hundreds of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in 1982 by Lebanese Christian militias. No case was brought against any of the Christian leaders.”
Changing the Law

“Later, under the same law, a case was also brought against leading Americans including President George Bush, Sr. Thereupon the United States hinted to the Belgian government that continued legal actions against its president and other high officials could lead to the transfer of the NATO headquarters from Brussels to Warsaw. Furthermore, all U.S. military shipments to Antwerp would be diverted to Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
“American threats caused the Belgian parliament to change the law. Many parliamentarians wanted to continue prosecuting the Israelis, but ultimately understood that this was legally impossible. Thereafter Israeli-Belgian relations became normal again, and I returned to Brussels in April 2003.”
The Political System: Flemish Parties 

The Liberals
As ambassador, Kinar had to deal with the country’s six parliaments: the federal one, the French-speaking community’s parliament, the Walloon-, Flemish- (a form of Dutch), and German-speaking communities’ parliaments, as well as that of Brussels. No political party is represented in both the French- and Dutch-speaking parts of the country.
Kinar observes: “Broadly speaking, Israel has more friends in Flanders than in Wallonia. The largest Flemish party in my time was the VLD (the Liberals). Its head Guy Verhofstadt was then Belgium’s prime minister. For an ambassador it is crucial to have easy access to a country’s political leaders. My contacts with Verhofstadt started immediately after my return from forced exile in Israel. We met during the break at an event commemorating the Warsaw Ghetto. He said to me: ‘So you are the ambassador for whom we changed the law.’
“Initially, Verhofstadt never went out of his way for Israel. This changed when he represented the Belgian government at the opening of the Yad Vashem Museum on 16 March 2005. Verhofstadt apologized there for the Belgian conduct toward Jews during the Second World War. He told me, while we stood overlooking Jerusalem, that he intended to bring his children to the museum. I later discovered that he is very close to his brother Dirk Verhofstadt, who has written extensively about the Second World War. More recently he has published an incriminating book about the wartime behavior of Pope Pius XII.”[1]
De Gucht
“Another important figure in the VLD is Karel De Gucht, then foreign minister. Today he is the European Commissioner on behalf of Belgium, and in charge of trade. He is somewhat known in Israel and Jewish circles for anti-Semitic remarks he made in a September 2010 interview with the Flemish public radio VRT about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the Washington talks that month. De Gucht stated:
Do not underestimate the opinion…of the average Jew outside Israel. There is indeed a belief – it is difficult to describe it otherwise – among most Jews that they are right. And a belief is something that is difficult to counter with rational arguments. And it is not so much whether these are religious Jews or not. Secular Jews also share the same belief that they are right. So it is not easy to have, even with moderate Jews, a rational discussion about what is actually happening in the Middle East.
“De Gucht added: ‘Do not underestimate the Jewish lobby on Capitol Hill. That is the best organized lobby, you should not underestimate the grip it has on American politics – no matter whether it is Republicans or Democrats.’
“The man is very opinionated, but it struck me that his remarks were quite out of place for someone who knew how to woo members of the Antwerp Jewish community for his party and his politics. The fact that we could speak in Dutch made our conversations less official. It was a good relationship, though our views differed on a number of political issues.
“His closest political adviser, however, was Dirk Achten, a former editor of the most important Flemish paper De Standaard. In our first encounter he said he did not understand why the Jews should have a separate country. According to the European definition of anti-Semitism, denying the right of Jews to self-determination is anti-Semitic. Achten wasn’t the only politician who said such things to me.
“At the time I was also very close to Claude Marinower, a Jewish VLD parliamentarian from Antwerp. He had excellent contacts in the party and was very helpful. He has since, however, lost his seat and is now a member of the Antwerp City Council.”
The Christian Party
“Relations with CD&V, the Flemish Christian Party, were close at the time and are still so. An outstanding friend of Israel was the former president of the Chamber – the lower house of the Belgian parliament – Herman van Rompuy. He is now president of the European Union.
“Another friend is Yves Leterme. Despite the 2010 elections he still continues as Belgian prime minister, as for over five hundred days it has been impossible to form a new government. Yet another friend was Pieter De Crem, the current defense minister. One should also include former Belgian prime minister Mark Eyskens who, whenever needed, would prominently contribute pro-Israeli articles to the Flemish press.”
The Socialist and Other Parties
“The SPa, the Flemish Socialist Party, was led by Steve Stevaert, who was indifferent to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This was typical for almost the entire party. There was one very striking exception, Fred Erdman, the Jewish president of the Senate, who was favorably disposed toward us. The current mayor of Antwerp, Patrick Janssens, was at the time the leader of the Socialist Party. He apologized in 2007 for the behavior of the Antwerp municipality during the Shoah, which was very bad compared to that of Brussels, for instance. Janssens is quite popular with the local Jewish community.
“Out of principle I did not have any relations with the extreme-right Vlaams Blok, though they tried many times to contact me. My predecessors had followed a similar policy. The party later changed its name to Vlaams Belang and is still led by Philip De Winter.
“Another right-wing party is the N-VA (Nieuwe Vlaamse Alliantie), which in the 2010 elections became the largest party in Flanders. At the time it was already part of the Flemish government, in which its member Geert Bourgeois was the region’s foreign minister. During our first meeting he told me I should have relations with Vlaams Belang. At that time the N-VA leader was Bert Anciaux, nowadays a senior figure in the Senate on behalf of the Socialists. He has often come out against Israel. Toward the end of my ambassadorship, Bart De Wever became the most important figure in this party and is now its uncontested leader.”
When De Wever opposed Janssens’s apologies to the Jews, Kinar wrote: “De Wever has already on previous occasions shown his lack of understanding about the persecution of the Jews, as well as of the problems of the Middle East that he mixed with it. As he is a ‘historian’ by profession he should have known better.” Kinar added that De Wever always mentioned Jewish and Israeli issues together so as to avoid being accused of anti-Semitism; yet he remained silent about many crimes of the Palestinians. Kinar added: “Why does not De Wever mention the problems of Darfur or Afghanistan? Apparently he is only disturbed by Israel (and the Jews?).”[2]
Walloon Parties

The Liberals
“During my ambassadorship, the Liberals of the MR were still the largest party in Wallonia. Several of their leaders were pro-Israeli and with those we had an easy relationship. Armand De Decker was president of the Senate and also of Uccle, a part of Brussels where most of the town’s Jewish community lives. The Israeli embassy is also located there. The finance minister, Didier Reynders, was always open and helpful. He told me that the late leader of the party, Jean Gol, a former deputy prime minister of Belgium, had been his mentor. I knew Gol well when we were both board members of the World Union of Jewish Students.
“The relationship with Louis Michel, the Belgian foreign minister before De Gucht, was far more complicated. He zigzagged in his policy toward Israel. Nowadays he is not a friend of Israel; nor is his son Charles, a powerful figure in the MR. Louis Michel also told me that Gol had been his mentor.
“Several Jews held senior positions in the MR. The neurosurgeon Jacques Brotchi is until today a senator’s substitute. He recently resigned as a professor from the Free University in Brussels, publicly stating that he did so because of the anti-Semitism there. Viviane Teitelbaum now represents the MR as a member of the Brussels parliament; formerly she was a member of the Socialist Party. Teitelbaum has published books on Belgian anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.”
The Socialists
At present the Socialists (PS) are the dominant party in Wallonia. Their leader Elio Di Rupo was a big disappointment for me. During our first meeting I complained to him that while the Flemish parliament maintained commercial and cultural treaties with Israel, similar agreements had been rejected by the Walloon and Brussels parliaments. Wallonia had, however, such agreements with Libya and Cuba. Di Rupo answered that he would correct this after the elections; but he did nothing. As things look now, Di Rupo may become Belgium’s next prime minister.
“After the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit in 2006, Di Rupo came out with a press release claiming Israel used this as a pretext to start a war against Lebanon. The embassy responded by pointing out that the PS had never condemned the rocket attacks from Gaza on the citizens of Sderot. Di Rupo referred to this in the summer university, an annual political gathering of the party, where he declared that he would continue his political line toward Israel ‘despite the arrogant letter from the Israeli ambassador.’ That letters of the Israeli ambassador did not deserve a response was a trademark of the PS.
“Another powerful figure in the party was Laurette Onkelinckx, then deputy prime minister and justice minister. We met a number of times. She promised me to speak with Di Rupo as she could not believe that my letter had not been answered. Onkelinckx assumed there had been some sort of technical glitch. When we did not receive an answer from Di Rupo, I sent a letter to her. She did not acknowledge it. The fact that she had a Jewish adviser did not help us at all.
“Andre Flahaut, then defense minister, was particularly problematic. He is currently chairman of the Chamber. Flahaut was always available for meetings yet came out with very strong anti-Israeli statements. In later years he also took part in anti-Israeli demonstrations. Meetings with him were important because Belgium had soldiers in the UNIFIL force in Lebanon.
“Many politicians were surrounded by anti-Israeli advisers. This was not only the case with Flahaut but also, for example, with a Liberal like Louis Michel. He had a number of close advisers with Muslim backgrounds.
“A case apart is Philippe Moureaux, a former Belgian deputy prime minister and now mayor of St.-Jans-Molenbeek. For years he asked the Israeli embassy to provide Palestinian children from Bethlehem and Ramallah with exit visas so they could spend their vacations in Belgium. When I asked Moreaux why he did not organize a common visit for those children together with Jewish children from Sderot, he did not answer. A year later when he repeated his request, we asked the same question and got no reply. In June 2010, the not-so-young mayor (seventy-two) married Latifa Benaicha, who is of Muslim background.
“The most extreme anti-Israeli in the PS is Senator Pierre Galand. He has initiated many anti-Israeli motions in the Senate. He also heads various anti-Israeli organizations such as the Belgian-Palestinian Association and the Lay Action Center. Galand was also secretary-general of OXFAM Belgium during the period 1967-1996. Veronique De Keyser, a European PS parliamentarian, once declared that she wanted to strangle the Israeli ambassador. Many people thought she meant me. As she is a member of the European Parliament, I can clarify that she referred to my colleague who was the Israeli ambassador to the EU.
“Another important Walloon party is the former Christian Party, now called Centre Democrate Humaniste (CDH). It is led by Joelle Milquet. I had rather good relations with the party though they gradually moved toward political positions close to those of the PS.
“In Brussels, all political parties must have Muslims on their list of candidates in view of the high number of Muslim voters. The town’s mayor Freddy Thielemans, a Socialist, was always very correct in his behavior toward us. There were and are quite a few members of the municipal council originally from Turkey and Morocco. Many of these are hostile toward Israel.
“The Green parties in both Flanders and Wallonia were fairly small during my stay. The embassy did not have contact with them. The German speakers number only eighty thousand and are considered part of Wallonia. They have a small government with which we have excellent relations.”
Media

Flemish Media
Kinar offers a similar analysis of the media. In the Flemish press, extreme anti-Israeli inciters like Lucas Catherine, Ludo De Brabander, and Brigitte Hermans have easy access to most of the major newspapers.  “The most anti-Israeli paper is the Socialist daily De Morgen, which is always open to anti-Israeli views. They published interviews with me correctly, yet clarified that they did not agree with me.
“As mentioned, De Standaard is the most influential Flemish paper. During my tenure as ambassador the journalist Mia Doornaet, then the paper’s Middle East specialist, was more than fair toward Israel and understood the situation in the Middle East. The other main Flemish papers were reasonably objective.
“The biggest Flemish weekly is Knack. I never encountered any problems in getting interviewed there. Sometimes it also published anti-Israeli opinions. Another Flemish weekly is Humo, which leans to the left but was also ready to publish our views.
“The very left-wing monthly MO receives subsidies from the Belgian government. It has for years been publishing anti-Israeli articles. We protested against this, and also when the Walloon and Flemish governments subsidized anti-Israeli educational material for schools. While our complaints against these publications were given attention, nothing was done about the problems even though some of the prime ministers of those governments wrote to the ministers concerned. Among these were, for instance, the Flemish prime ministers Bart Somers in 2003 and Yves Leterme in 2006.
“As for the main Flemish TV stations VRT and BRT, these were initially interested in hearing the Israeli ambassador appear in Flemish, which was unusual. With the VRT, a private station, one could develop good relations. The national BRT-TV was more difficult.”
Walloon Media
“Many Walloon media are very anti-Israeli. One of the worst is Le Soir. Its ‘specialist’ for Middle Eastern affairs, Baudouin Loos, and its correspondent in Israel hold similar anti-Israeli views. This correspondent no longer uses his own name, which he did before arriving in Israel. Maurice Sarfaty is now known for many years as Serge Dumont. Although he changed his name so as to avoid accusations of being pro-Israeli because of his Jewish origin, he did not have to worry; his first pro-Israeli article has yet to be written.
“During my tenure the weekly VIF/L’Express was continuously anti-Israeli. Once they left out substantial parts of a letter I had sent to the editor. They however printed a reaction by Editor-in-Chief Jacques Gevers that was much longer than the parts published of my letter. When we made this public, many people protested. The paper thereupon published nine letters to the editor in support of Gevers and only one out of all the protest letters. We then found out that the UPJB (Union des Progressistes Juifs de Belgique), an organization of extreme-left anti-Israeli Jews, had asked their members by email to send letters in support of Gevers. By accident, this email fell into our hands. Later, because the paper was losing money, Gevers had to leave. Subsequently it became more balanced.
“RTBF, the Walloon state TV, was and remains problematic. From time to time they would organize debates in which the Palestinian representative and I appeared together.
“At the beginning of 2007 there was a great storm in Belgium. It damaged a monument in Brussels that symbolizes the four pillars on which Belgian democracy is based. The storm felled its pillar of ‘freedom of press.’ I then said publicly that this was symbolic.
We often faced problems in dealing with various Belgian universities. The main difficulties were in Brussels – both with the Flemish-speaking Free University (VUB) and the French-speaking Free University (ULB). Such difficulties continue in the present.
“Through the Jewish student organization, a debate was organized at the ULB between Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and a Brussels anti-Israeli law professor, Eric David, who brought his own audience with him. The press gave little attention to that debate, which was one of the few occasions where someone could speak at that university in favor of Israel.”
Interviews and Articles

Kinar made it a point to try and get interviews and articles into the Belgian press that expressed the Israeli outlook. When he left, the Israeli embassy gave him a selection of these interviews and articles. Revisiting them recently, he again considered certain questions he was asked in those years.
“An interview I gave to Le Soir in 2003 stands out. I mentioned that Yasser Arafat had done everything to make Abu Mazen fail in the Road Map, which aimed to pacify the region and create a Palestinian state.
“At the time some in Israel were suggesting that Arafat be killed. I said in the interview: ‘Ariel Sharon had expressed his regret about such suggestions by former Jerusalem mayor Ehud Olmert and Education Minister Limor Livnat.’ I added: ‘Without supporting them, one has to understand them. Olmert sees attacks in his city every day. This violence is also directed at the buses that transport the students of whom Livnat is in charge.'”
Demonstrations

Kinar remarks: “As in my other postings, I tried to interest the Belgian population in Israeli cultural events. Both in Flanders and Wallonia this worked quite well. There were many Israeli performances in the music, dance, and film festivals. Anti-Israeli demonstrations rarely occurred at these events.
“During my ambassadorship there were, however, a number of anti-Israeli demonstrations. These were usually led by the Belgian left and part of the Muslim community. The earlier-mentioned UPJB participated in them as well. During the Second Lebanon War in 2006 there was a large anti-Israeli demonstration, though that was hardly a unique event. We then also held a pro-Israeli demonstration in front of the embassy.”
The Jewish Community

“The number of Jews in Belgium is estimated at around forty-five thousand. The communities of Antwerp and Brussels, where most Jews live, are equal in size but very different in character. In Antwerp, one-third of the Jews are ultra-Orthodox, another third are modern Orthodox or traditional, and a further third are secular. In Brussels, however, more than 90 percent of the Jews are secular. There are also several smaller Jewish communities in cities such as Ghent, Liège, and Charleroi.
“In Antwerp, the Jews used to be mainly active in the diamond industry, but many are now supported by the Jewish welfare organization as the diamond industry has largely been taken over by Indians. In Brussels, many Jews work in free professions. The two communities also differ in political outlook. In Antwerp, Jews are more center-right; in Brussels, some favor the Liberals and others the Socialists. Their reactions to political developments in Israel are more left-leaning, in line with Israeli parties such as Meretz and Labor. One prominent figure in Brussels and in Belgium generally, Simone Susskind, has distinct pro-Palestinian leanings and served as political adviser to Minister Onkelinckx. Her husband, David Susskind, was one of the organizers of demonstrations for Soviet Jewry and was and remains more moderate.
“There is no national Jewish organization, though the Comité de Coordination des Organizations Juif de Belgique (Coordination Committee of the Jewish Organizations in Belgium, CCOJB) in Brussels pretends to be an all-Belgian organization, as indicated by its name. Antwerp Jewry, however, does not regard them as their representative. They have their own organization called Forum of the Jewish Organizations. Sometimes the two try to cooperate, but because of matters of prestige this doesn’t happen very often. The forum does defend Israeli interests courageously, while CCOJB is more restrained in its reactions. In each of the languages there are regular Jewish publications.”
Kinar observes that as far as the number of Jews is concerned, there have been no major changes in recent years. Yet emigration to Israel has somewhat increased, especially from Antwerp.
He remarks that during his ambassadorship he also sometimes came out against anti-Semitism in the country. In 2003, a Flemish newspaper noted that Kinar received their interviewer with on his desk a letter from a Brussels Jew, who a few weeks before buried his 95-year-old mother. When the procession started it was during a break at the nearby elementary school. The children there, mainly North Africans, saw the Star of David on the hearse and started to shout “Dirty Jew!” The shocked family wrote to the ambassador that they silently accepted the humiliation. The deceased woman was born in Hungary in 1908. There she had to flee in her youth from shouts of “Dirty Jew!” Now she was buried in her country of asylum accompanied by shouts of “Dirty Jew!”[3]
Kinar adds: “One should also point out, though, that the Jews have many friends in Belgium. As far as Israel is concerned there is a Belgian Christians for Israel organization. Its activities are limited, with only or two events per year. They are closely connected to the Dutch Christians for Israel.”
Luxemburg

Israel has no permanent presence in Luxemburg. Kinar could only visit there about every six weeks. He says: “Initially the relations with the Foreign Ministry in Luxemburg were excellent. In 2004, however, the Socialist Jean Asselborn became foreign minister. During the many meetings we had, he did not show any political understanding of the Middle East. He was chosen for his position out of coalition considerations and his background in the trade unions.
“We put much emphasis on relations with this country because every vote in the EU is nominally equal. The Foreign Ministry staff, with whom, as mentioned, we were on good terms, could not overrule Mr. Asselborn, who came out with the strangest observations.
“Asselborn has been for years now the most anti-Israeli foreign minister in Europe. In an interview he gave to Spiegel Online last 24 May, he described Netanyahu’s reaction to Obama’s speech (referring to Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders) as ‘arrogant’ and claimed Israel had converted the Gaza Strip into a prison.
“In December 2010, Asselborn suggested that the EU should freeze its relations with Israel. He was also the first European foreign
minister to welcome last April the announced unification of Fatah and Hamas and urged Israel to negotiate with such a unity government. Asselborn added that a new Palestinian government that included Hamas would be prepared to recognize Israel and renounce violence.
“In June this year, at the annual Foreign Affairs Council in Luxemburg, the High Representative of the EU led a discussion on the Middle East peace process. Luxemburg’s Foreign Ministry had invited foreign ministers from many Middle Eastern and other countries as well as numerous ambassadors to this discussion. The Israeli ambassador, however, was not invited, and it was not the first time that had happened.
“Luxemburg’s Jewish community is very small and actively pro-Israeli. With a few exceptions, the press was friendly. Fortunately enough we have an honorary consul there who is also personally involved in Israel’s economy.”
Looking back on his ambassadorship, Kinar says: “This was certainly a very  interesting posting. It started with what was one of the most acute crises we’ve had in a European country. With careful sailing and navigating,
by the end of my tenure Israel had good relations with Belgium on the official level. Attacks continued, however, in other areas. As for Luxemburg, the changes were even greater. In 2003, nearly all officials took a pro-Israeli line. The new coalition governments, however, have made Luxemburg one of Europe’s most critical countries toward Israel.”
Interview by Manfred Gerstenfeld
Jehudi Kinar was born in the Netherlands. He attended the School of Interpreters in Geneva and also studied political science (African studies) at the university there. He moved to Israel in 1969. His first diplomatic postings were in the Netherlands, followed by Germany, and then in the United States and Canada. Subsequently he served as ambassador to Belgium and Luxemburg. At home Kinar has held various Foreign Ministry positions, including political adviser to the mayor of Jerusalem. 

Source:  http://jcpa.org/article/belgiums-attitu … -the-jews/



[1] Dirk Verhofstadt, Pius XII: en de vernietiging van de joden (Antwerp: Houtekiet, 2008). [Dutch]
[2] Jehudi Kinar, “Gratuit,” De Standaard Online, 31 October 2007. [Dutch]
[3] Joost Loncin, “Ik wil geen underdog zijn,” Nieuwsblad, 7 July 2003. [Dutch]
Publication:   Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism
Filed Under:   Anti-Semitism
Tags:   Belgium's Attitudes toward Israel and the Jews, French-speaking Walloons, hostile positions toward Israel

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is emeritus chairman (2000-2012) of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. The author was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, and the International Leadership Award by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. His latest book is The War of a Million Cuts: The Struggle against the Delegitimization of Israel and the Jews, and the Growth of New Anti-Semitism (2015). His previous books include Europe’s Crumbling Myths: The Post-Holocaust Origins of Today’s Anti-Semitism; Judging the Netherlands: The Renewed Holocaust Restitution Process, 1997-2000; and The Abuse of Holocaust Memory: Distortions and Responses.
View recent publications by Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld