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Voices in the Jewish community that deny this connection, hamper the struggle against antisemitism

The reactions of certain people within the Jewish community worries Een Andere Joodse Stem as much the existence of Schild & Vrienden itself for they both reflect a similar attitude of leniency toward racism prevalent in Belgian society. EAJS believes strongly that racism has to be fought against in all its forms no matter who is its object, whether it is directed against Jews or against other religious or racialized communities.

It is the quiet racism, which is expressed within closed circles and embedded in wider social structures, that is the infrastructure on which more explicit manifestations of racism thrive. An individual or small group can be inspired to carry violent action by the words and the attitude dominant within a social movement, an organization or a society as a whole without them being violent as such. Furthermore, the infiltration of Schild & Vrienden members to leading roles in political parties and public institutions indicates an acceptance of quiet racism in these organizations and in the broader Belgian social fabric.

Hence, Schild & Vrienden worries us, and should worry the entire Jewish community and the Belgian public as a whole, for its existence demonstrates clearly that attitudes and discourses seemingly discredited are again on the rise. The intermingling of antisemitism, islamophobia, anti-Black racism, sexism and homophobia in the discourse and actions of Schild & Vrienden proves that racism is never the concern of only certain communities. All those who believe in equality should be actively committed to struggling against it.

In our coming debate on racism in Antwerpen on the 26th of September (www.eajs.be) we intend to ask all party leaders how they intend to combat racism and anti-semitism in their own ranks, and whether they will continue working with political parties that are associated with the racism of Schild & Vrienden.

Contact: Anya Topolski, media coördinator, Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken. Voor meer informatie rond EAJS: www.eajs.be


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