Belgian car shop owner says he won’t serve Jews due to Israel’s stance on Ukraine



(JTA) — The operator of a vehicle repair service shop in Belgium explained he will not serve Jewish clients to protest Israel’s posture around Russia’s war on Ukraine.

The Discussion board of Jewish Companies, a team representing Flemish-talking Belgian Jews, mentioned it will take legal motion against Ludo Eyckmans, the operator of the shop in Stabroek around Antwerp. Denying services to people today dependent on their religion, race or sexual orientation is illegal in Belgium.

“As of currently, our Jewish clients are no extended welcome for upkeep of their autos or fixing electronic troubles,” Eyckmans wrote in an electronic mail that he despatched to Belgian media last 7 days, in accordance to the Jewish team. He cited Israel’s “failure to recognize war crimes” by Russia’s army in Ukraine.

Israeli International Minister Yair Lapid final week asserted that “Russian forces fully commited war crimes” in Ukraine, but Key Minister Naftali Bennett has not occur down so harshly on Russia.

Israeli leaders are balancing elaborate interests in the conflict, like Russian involvement in neighboring Syria and the basic safety of Jews in equally nations around the world. The approach has permitted Bennett to enjoy a role in trying to get to broker talks concerning Russia and Ukraine, but it has also yielded criticism of Israel from those people who would like to see it consider a firmer stance.

The Forum of Jewish Corporations wrote to Eyckmans to say that Jews in Belgium do not determine Israeli overseas coverage, a spokesperson for the group, Hans Knoop, informed the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on Sunday. Eyckmans did not reply to requests for comment.

Quite a few small business house owners and services vendors have denied company to Jews in Belgium in recent decades in connection with their notion of Israel’s steps.

In 2014, amid exchanges of fire concerning Israel and Hamas in Gaza, law enforcement taken out a sign from a Belgian cafe expressing that Jews were not authorized following a criticism by an antisemitism watchdog.

Also that year, a Belgian medical professional refused to treat a Jewish woman with a fractured rib, suggesting she take a look at Gaza to get rid of the suffering.

Separately, a store employee in Antwerp allegedly refused to serve a Jewish consumer “out of protest,” as he reportedly said in 2014.


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