JTA — Representatives of Flemish Jews have filed a police complaint after a Belgian journalist joked about Jews’ noses and accused Israelis of stealing Palestinian land.
The reference to Jewish noses appeared in a July 27 column by Dimitri Verhulst in the left-leaning Belgian daily De Morgen. Its title, “There is no promised land, only stolen land,” paraphrased a quote attributed to the late French-Jewish singer Serge Gainsbourg.
Verhulst misquotes the singer as saying: “Being Jewish is not a religion, no God would give creatures such an ugly nose.” The actual quote by Gainsbourg speaks neither of God nor ugliness, reading: “Being Jewish is not a religion. No religion makes you grow such a nose.”
The column begins with the words: “Because God has His favorites and they have their privileges, Palestinians were driven out of their homes in 1948 to make place for God’s favorites.”
Verhulst also accused Israel of “murdering” 10,000 Palestinians over the past 17 years and said that “talking to the Chosen is difficult” because he said they accuse him unjustly of racism for his anti-Israel views.
The Forum of Jewish Organizations of Belgium’s Flemish region called the comments “rabid anti-Semitism” in a statement Friday about the complaint.
Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs also condemned the column in an op-ed he published Friday in the ND newspaper, calling it “pure anti-Semitism” and adding he is “concerned” that it could be published in a mainstream newspaper.
In 2016, Belgian Jews complained after De Morgen interviewed a Holocaust denier.