“Jews have ugly noses”, Belgian journalist writes in column attacking Israel

Representatives of Flemish Jews have filed a police complaint after a Belgian journalist joked about Jews’ noses and accused Israelis of stealing Palestinian land.

The reference to Jewish noses appeared in a column by Dimitri Verhulst in the left-leaning Belgian daily De Morgen. Its title, “There is no promised land, only stolen land,” paraphrased a quote attributed to the late French-Jewish singer Serge Gainsbourg.

Verhulst misquotes the singer as saying: “Being Jewish is not a religion, no God would give creatures such an ugly nose.” The actual quote by Gainsbourg speaks neither of God nor ugliness, reading: “Being Jewish is not a religion. No religion makes you grow such a nose.”

The column begins with the words: “Because God has His favourites and they have their privileges, Palestinians were driven out of their homes in 1948 to make place for God’s favourites.”

Verhulst also accused Israel of “murdering” 10,000 Palestinians over the past 17 years and said that “talking to the Chosen is difficult” because he said they accuse him unjustly of racism for his anti-Israel views.

The Forum of Jewish Organisations of Belgium’s Flemish region called the comments “rabid antisemitism” in a statement about the complaint.

Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs also condemned the column in an op-ed he published in the ND newspaper, calling it “pure antisemitism” and adding that he was “concerned” it could be published in a mainstream newspaper.


Subscribe to EJC newsletter

Get EJC's bi-weekly newsletter, including the latest statements and news from the European Jewish communities, direct to your inbox.

European Jewish Congress will use the information you provide on this form to contact you. We will treat your information with respect and will not share it with others. By clicking Subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

browse by community