Belgium uninvites anti-Israel NGO with terror ties to UN Security Council

Israeli Ambassador to Belgium Emmanuel Nahshon continued to urge Brussels to reconsider the invitation.

U.N. Security Council debates the situation in the Middle East (photo credit: screenshot)
U.N. Security Council debates the situation in the Middle East
(photo credit: screenshot)
Belgium revoked its invitation to Brad Parker, a senior adviser for policy and advocacy at the NGO Defense for Children International – Palestine, to address the UN Security Council, following a concerted effort by Israeli Foreign Ministry officials to stop the speech from happening.
DCI-P officials have documented ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group. The representative originally invited to address the UNSC has a history of anti-Israel activism, which was probed by the City University of New York, where he is a professor.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz praised Belgium’s decision, highlighting DCI-P’s ties to terrorism, and said that “from his statements, it appears that [Parker’s] intention has to take advantage of the invitation to hurt Israel.”
The canceled speech “is a result of successful diplomatic actions towards Belgium, which should be praised,” Katz said.
Parker told the Agence France-Presse on Friday that Monday’s UNSC meeting on the Middle East will be held behind closed doors, which means he will not be able to speak. The activist said he planned to address “grave violations” by Israel in 2014-2019.
“It is frustrating once again the political context has worked to silence our voice,” Parker told AFP.
In its efforts to prevent Parker from being able to address the UNSC, Israel summoned Brussels’ deputy ambassador to be reprimanded twice for what the Foreign Ministry has called anti-Israel actions from Belgium in the UN Security Council, where it holds the temporary presidency.
Israeli Ambassador to Belgium Emmanuel Nahshon continued to urge Brussels to reconsider the invitation, even after he was reprimanded by the foreign ministry in Brussels for taking the cause to social media.
“We are extremely disappointed that Belgium, which professes to care about children in conflict zones, didn’t think it appropriate to invite reps of Israeli children living under Hamas rockets for the past 15 years,” Nahshon said earlier this month.
Foreign Ministry sources have said Belgium has become the country most hostile to Israel in the European Union, together with Ireland, and is the most outspoken against Israel in the UNSC, even more so than Muslim UNSC member states like Indonesia and Tunisia.
DCI-Palestine describes itself as an organization defending the human rights of Palestinian children. It alleges that Israel is committing war crimes and supports the BDS movement. It shares several leading figures with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terrorist group in the US, EU, Canada and Israel, to the extent that Citibank and the Arab Bank have stopped providing banking services to the NGO.
Parker is the driving force behind pro-BDS legislation introduced in the US by Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum, the think tank NGO Monitor reported. Last January, in his capacity as an adjunct professor at the CUNY Law School’s Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic, Parker filed an anti-Israel submission to the UN, replete with false statements and whitewashing of terrorist groups like Hamas. CUNY subsequently launched an investigation into the law school’s partnership with DCI-P.
On Sunday, a parade in Aalst, Belgium is expected to include antisemitic images, despite losing its UNESCO status last year due when the city’s mayor refused to remove the displays.
The Aalst Carnival’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for carnival revelers who take part in the carnival’s parade to dress up as hassidim (ultra-Orthodox). The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. This is in addition to the plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Ambassador to Belgium Emmanuel Nahshon has continued efforts to prevent the antisemitic displays, saying that “Aalst is the only city in Europe where such a carnival is allowed. We call upon Belgian authorities, including city authorities of Aalst, to change their mind.”
If the parade goes as planned, “it will be a moral blot on Belgium,” Nahshon added.
Though Belgium (population 11,000,000) has around 30,000 Jews, the Jewish community is not planning any demonstrations against the carnival, with a source saying they are worried about calling negative attention to themselves and possibly provoking violence by going against the dominant culture.
Last week, three Belgian professors who are experts in antisemitism – Vivian Liska, Didier Pollefeyt and Klaas Smelik – wrote in a much-quoted op-ed in the Brussels Flemish-language daily De Morgen for the media not to display the antisemitic images from the parade.
“We do not want to commit censorship, but we do want to point out the danger of spreading this type of anti-Jewish caricature,” Smelik said on Belgium’s Radio 1. “In the past, it has become apparent what kind of influence they can have on the opinions of ordinary people.”