Belgium’s prime minister and the European Union’s executive branch led the chorus of condemnation of Sunday’s annual carnival in the Belgian city of Aalst — which once again featured brazenly antisemitic caricatures — hinting that legal action could yet be taken against the carnival organizers for violating European and national laws against hate speech and incitement.
After 2019’s carnival showcased puppets of crudely-stereotyped Orthodox Jews sitting on bags of money to international condemnation, the 2020 event went even further. One group mocked Jews by wearing huge fur hats, long fake noses and ant costumes — bringing to mind the Nazi association of Jews with “vermin.” Other revelers wore fake hooked noses while carrying signs that read “Do not mock Jews” and “Do not tell the truth about Jews.”
The mock noses were reportedly so popular that a week before the carnival, Joel Rubinfeld — who heads the Belgian League Against Antisemitism — was told during a visit to several stores in Aalst that stocks had run out.
Meanwhile, another float at Sunday’s event, similarly led by boisterous revelers wearing exaggerated “Orthodox Jew” costumes, poked fun at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.