Som en blogger ironisk skriver: Hvis man vil protestere mot overgrep mot sivile, hva er da mer naturlig enn å angripe en annen sivil befolkningsgruppe?
Arab European League hadde tillyst demonstrasjon mot bombingen av Gaza i Antwerpen. Stemningen var på forhånd opphisset. Etter at den formelle demonstrasjonen var over, gikk en gruppe mot den jødiske bydelen, der politiet hadde stilt mannsterkt opp. I frustrasjon gikk demonstrantene løs på biler, busser og trikker. Mange jøder er redde.
Many Jews don’t dare anymore to go out on the streets in the area of the demonstrators. They fear vandalism and violence. An internal SMS service of the Jewish community of Antwerp warns Jews to avoid the areas of the Turnhoutsebaan and the Diamantwijk, reports Michael Freilich of the Jewish newspaper Joods Actueel.
«The protesters must realize that Antwerp Jews are also Flemish and not Israeli soldiers. They have nothing to do with what is currently happening in the Gaza Strip,» says Freilich. According to him the the Jewish community fears that the situation can escalate. «We haven’t seen anything like this since 2003, when it also got out of hand,» says the chief editor of the Jewish monthly. There’s currently no response from politicians, but Freilich’s phone is getting many calls from anxious people who don’t know what to do.
During today’s demonstration damage was done, also in the Antwerp Diamantwijk (Diamond Center) where many Jews live and work. Today there is no activity in the sector, according to Freilich. Most shops are closed. Meanwhile the riots of isolated groups of protesters moved to Borgerhout and the Turnhoutsebaan area. The police is out in force.