The leader of the Flemish Nationalist party N-VA, Bart De Wever, said that the antisemitic depiction of Jews in a carnival float in the town of Aalst was indefensible.

“The culture of the Aalst carnival is unique in the world but these caricatures of Jews are historically very controversial,” De Wever told the Antwerp Jewish weekly, Joods Actueel.

“These representations are caricatures, which recall the worst period of our collective memory”, he said. “It is regrettable to to use such imagery at a time when antisemitism is rising.”

De Wever however claimed that the intention of the float was not antisemitic: “Even if the intention was certainly not antisemitic, it is sad that these people did not take into account that there is a recipient for every message.”