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(Washington, D.C., March 4, 2019)—B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:   
B’nai B’rith is disgusted with the anti-Semitic puppets included marching and dancing through the annual Aalst Carnival parade in Belgium.
The giant puppets, depicting orthodox Jews complete with traditional side-curls, standing amidst bags of money, were created by a group called Vismooil’n as part of a global celebration of carnival in advance of Easter. Last month, the group explained to a local blogger that it created the images to call attention to “rising prices” and it was calling the display: “Shabbat Year.”
If we didn’t know better, we would think this parade was happening in 1939 and not today. The puppets were not created in ignorance. It is clear the group is purposely scapegoating Jews for any local economic troubles.
Six years ago, the same carnival event featured a caricature of the Holocaust, with Nazi rail cars. At that time, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) director-general noted she was “deeply shocked” by the offensive display.
The city of Aalst should quickly and unequivocally apologize for including this hateful group in its annual event.