Unia issues 10 recommendations in fight against rising antisemitism

Since the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Belgium's inter-federal Equal Opportunities Centre Unia has recorded an "alarming rise" in reports of antisemitic incidents. 85 per cent of the cases involve hate messages and hate crimes, and discrimination is also on the rise. The centre has made 10 policy recommendations.

Among Unia's proposals are Monitoring Unit, a platform for dialogue and cooperation between representatives of the Jewish community, the government and other actors in the fight against antisemitism. Unia wants to build on that mechanism, which was established in 2004 and revamped in 2022. According to Unia, police registration and reporting are being run "very poorly".

Furthermore, more effort is needed in terms of research and education. Over the past five years, 20 per cent of antisemitism cases involved Holocaust denial. Unia believes that fixing this attitude starts at school. In 2022, education was the worst domain for Belgium in a report by the European Network Against Anti-Semitism. "Teachers must be retrained to prevent all forms of racism, racial discrimination, intolerance and bullying at school," Unia said.

Unia would like to see antisemitism included in the existing federal, Brussels and French-language action plans against racism. "Unia believes that antisemitism is a special form of racism with some specific characteristics. Therefore, the fight against antisemitism also deserves a place in anti-racism plans," the report said.

Between 7 October, the start of the war between Israel and Palestine, and 7 December, Unia recorded 91 reports directly related to the conflict. By comparison, in 2022, there were an average of four to five reports of antisemitism per month. The same happened in late 2008 and early 2009, when the Israeli army carried out Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip.

Protests in Antwerp and Brussels saw some individuals responsible for antisemitic slogans targeting the Jewish community in Belgium.



Related news

Website preview
Belgium sees 'alarming rise' in hate speech linked to Israel-Palestine conflict | belganewsagency.eu
Belgium has seen an "alarming rise" in the number of reports of hate speech and crimes related to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the...
Website preview
Rise in antisemitism in Belgium prompts 'increased vigilance'
Since 7 October, there has been a marked increase in the number of reports of threats against the Jewish community. This increase has led to...

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.

About belganewsagency.eu

Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels