A Belgian daily newspaper fired one of its columnists following his praise of the slaying of four Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem.
De Standaard, a left-leaning Flemish-language daily, said on Monday that it would no longer feature columns by Dyab Abou Jahjah, a Lebanon-born activist from Belgium who has called for violent attacks on Jewish Israelis.
A day earlier, Belgian Jews took to Twitter to condemn Abou Jahjah’s remarks, which included: “By any means necessary, #freepalestine,” following an attack in which a Palestinian terrorist plowed a truck through a crowd of soldiers visiting a popular tourist spot. The driver, who was shot dead, reportedly was a supporter of the Islamic State terror group. He also wrote on Facebook that the attack was “not terrorism but resistance.”
Abou Jahjah, a Hezbollah supporter who has accused Israel of genocide, has written a weekly column for De Standaard for the past three years. “Debate has borders and for us the border lies short of support of violence of any kind,” De Standaard wrote in an editorial announcing the dismissal.
The Forum of Jewish Organisations of Flemish Jews said in a statement that it was “shocked” by Abou Jahjah’s remarks and called on “certain media offering him a platform” to stop publishing his writings. In 2015, Abou Jahjah called Antwerp’s mayor “a Zionist cocksucker” on Twitter. He founded a Muslim European group that published on its website a picture of Anne Frank in bed with Adolf Hitler as well as a caricature suggesting that Jews invented the Holocaust.