Minister of Justice Paul Van Tigchelt (Open-Vld), together with Governor Cathy Berx (CD&V), entered into discussions with the Jewish community in Antwerp on Monday afternoon. They fear that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could also have an effect on their security in Antwerp. Moreover, they say there has been an increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes. “The official figures from the public prosecutor’s office and the police show no increase. That is why it is important that every incident is reported.”
The Antwerp Jewish community has written a letter to Van Tigchelt in which they express their concern about the effects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in our country. Moreover, according to them, there is an increase in anti-Semitist facts. That is why Van Tigchelt went to the provincial government building in Antwerp to listen to the concerns of Antwerp’s Jews together with Governor Cathy Berx.
“The conversation was about safety and the deployment of the police in Antwerp’s Jewish neighborhood,” Van Tigchelt explains. “The Antwerp police zone is already making a lot of extra efforts. They have been supported in this for two weeks by twenty additional units of the federal police.”
Antwerp’s Jewish community says there is a rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes. “If we check the official figures with the police or the public prosecutor’s office, there is no direct increase visible,” says Van Tigchelt. “The Jewish community has admitted that reports are not filed often enough. That is why I would like to emphasize the importance of reporting such facts,” the minister added.
According to Van Tigchelt, there will be no additional measures for the time being. Reportedly, every reported anti-Semitic offense will be responded to. “The Antwerp public prosecutor’s office will thoroughly investigate every report. To this end, we have the commitment of the Antwerp public prosecutor, who has assured us that he will respond appropriately to all anti-Semitic hate crimes,” said Van Tigchelt.