Belgian Jews worried about security of community institutions

Publication Date27 Aug 2021
AuthorDan Verbin
After the 2014 terrorist attack against the Jewish Museum in Brussels, in which four people were killed, the Belgian military was tasked with security for Jewish schools, synagogues and other community buildings.

The agreement is set to expire at the end of this month, with local police forces now responsible for keeping Jewish communities safe.

The CCOJB (the Brussels-based Coordination Committee of Jewish Organizations in Belgium) and the Antwerp-based Forum of Jewish Organizations (FJO), both stated they were concerned that the new arrangement was short on details and might lead to a reduction in security.

CCOJB President Yohan Benizri said in a statement to newspaper Le Soir that the threat level for the community remained high – a three out of four. He was worried that he had not heard back from officials about his concerns.

In February, Benizri wrote an op-ed in the Brussels Times in which he said that the European Union was "failing Jews."

"My kids go to a primary school in Belgium guarded by the army, the police, security professionals, and armoured double-doors," he wrote.

"When they walk home, they encounter painted swastikas. They hear people chanting 'war against Jews.' If they turn on the TV, they might see anti-Semitic parades as in the Flemish town of Aalst and hear about Jews murdered in Europe for being Jews, in Paris, Toulouse, and Brussels. They can hear me talking about a current Belgian Minister of Justice who spoke about the 'Jewish lobby.'"

While he stated that "Brussels has...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT