Photo Credit: Aalst Carnival screen grab via World Jewish Congress
Aalst Carnival

The United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Friday decided to delist the Aalst carnival celebration following deliberations held at a meeting of its Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Bogota, Colombia.

During the March 2019 edition of the Belgian city’s carnival, racist and antisemitic caricatures were openly on display, including a float featuring two giant puppets of Orthodox Jews with hooked noses on top of money bags. In the past, celebrants have also dressed as members of the Ku Klux Klan and Islamist terrorists.

Advertisement



The Committee said it was removing the carnival “over recurring repetition of racist and anti-Semitic representations” at the event. “UNESCO is faithful to its founding principles of dignity, equality and mutual respect among peoples and condemns all forms of racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.”

During the March 2019 edition of the Belgian city’s carnival, racist and antisemitic caricatures were openly on display, including a float featuring two giant puppets of Orthodox Jews with hooked noses perched on top of money bags.

Organizers seem to have done little to address concerns over the display. For the 2020 carnival, it has been reported that the organizing committee has prepared a set of ribbons that once again use stereotypical cartoonish characterizations of Jews and Muslims.

Advertisement