THE HAGUE (JTA) — A female Belgian politician of Moroccan origin accused Jewish men in Antwerp of harassing females and “behaving like machos.”
“In Brussels, women get harassed on the street and get called names,” Fatima Bali, 46, told the paper Nieuwsblad. “Our city has the same problem, and it’s always Arabs and Jews who do this.”
Bali, a well-known political figure and member of the Green Left Party, was the first Muslim member of Antwerp’s City Council.
She later told the Belgian-Jewish newspaper Joods Actueel that she had said that Jews harassed women because “Jews and Arabs behave like machos, and macho behavior is macho behavior.”
Some 20,000 Jews live in Antwerp, many of whom are haredi Orthodox. They are forbidden, according to their interpretation of Jewish customs, to have contact with women besides immediate family members.