Brussels Member of Parliament Fouad Ahidar (Vooruit) has compared Israel’s actions in Gaza to the Holocaust. Vooruit distances itself from those statements, chairman Conner Rousseau calls them “unacceptable”.
“Everyone can see that a human genocide is taking place in Gaza,” Ahidar said in the November 5 broadcast of the online medium Zinneke.tv on Youtube. Ahidar is faction leader for Vooruit in the Brussels Parliament and chairman of the Council of the Flemish Community Commission. “I visited Auschwitz in Poland, and saw what a genocide is, as well as what a massacre is. I can only conclude that virtually the same methods are used in Gaza today. The means of wiping out populations of thousands at a time have simply become more sophisticated.”
Later in the video, Ahidar says that for 75 years Israel has “done everything to exterminate this Palestinian population.” He adds that “every person deserves to live,” but that Israelis “reap what they sow.” He calls the surprise attack of October 7 “a small reaction from part of Hamas”, and he says that he regrets that “unfortunately the world only focuses on that part”.
Vooruit distances itself from Ahidar’s statements. “These are absolutely unacceptable,” said chairman Conner Rousseau on Radio 1. His party condemns the violence in the region, both by Hamas and Israel, it said. “Our focus is on the victims, on both sides: each is one too many.”
MR demands an apology
The Brussels department of the MR asks for an apology for Ahidar’s “unacceptable statements”. “I am ashamed to sit in the same assembly,” says David Leisterh. “Vooruit must make a big gesture and apologize. Because there are so many victims who expect something different from us…”
Fouad Ahidar will perform in Jette in 2024. He is still a member of Vooruit, although he was expelled from the party board in 2022. Then he went against the party line by voting in the Brussels Parliament against a ban on slaughter without stunning.