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Israel hails UNESCO’s rejection of Belgian carnival over anti-Semitism

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on Friday withdrew an annual carnival in the Belgian city of Aalst from its heritage list.

UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage said it was removing the carnival “over recurring repetition of racist and anti-Semitic representations” at the event.

The carnival of Aalst, in the Belgian Dutch speaking region of Flanders, was initially added to UNESCO’s list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity in 2010.

The presence in the parade of a float caricaturing Orthodox Jews with hooked noses and sitting on gold bags, outraged Belgium’s 40,000-strong Jewish community.

Header: A parade float at the Aalst Carnaval in Belgium featuring caricatures of Orthodox Jews atop money bags, March 3, 2019. (Courtesy of FJO, via JTA)