Belgian Minister of Security and Interior, Pieter de Crem.
(photo credit: FLICKR)
In a letter to Pieter de Crem, Belgian Minister of Security and Interior, Simon Wiesenthal Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, declared that the Center’s membership was “appalled at a Belgian Court endorsement of antisemitism by default.”
The letter was in reference to an incident in July 2014 when a "Turkish-run restaurant in Saint-Nicolas, Flanders, placed a notice in French stating, ‘Entry Permitted to Dogs, but to Zionists never!’”, noting that “added in Turkish, the message was clearer: ‘In this business, we accept dogs, but Jews never!’, based on the Nazi German notices in parks: ‘Entry for dogs = for Jews forbidden!’”
After complaints were made, the mayor of Saint-Nicolas, a small town near Liege, Jacques Heleven, dispatched police to the cafe who had the sign removed.
Samuels argued that, “A lawsuit against the perpetrator was apparently immobilized in the court for almost five years,” continuing, “Now we witness the 'coup de grace', as tribunal spokesperson, Catherine Colligan, admitted: ‘the case is closed without any chance of follow-up.’”
The Center claimed, “this was a hate-crime against the Belgian Jewish community and Belgium itself. It represents an encouragement to Islamists across Europe that antisemitic threats are not subject to legal measures - a devastating precedent.”
The letter continued "Mr. Minister, We urge you to investigate a court that seems to have twisted justice into an endorsement of antisemitism by default. After five years of procrastination, its ruling goes way beyond ‘justice delayed, justice denied!’,” concluded Samuels.
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