Anti-Israel Activist Receives ‘Peace’ Award at Belgium’s Holocaust Memorial

Photo shows the National Memorial for the Jewish Martyrs during a service on international 'Holocaust Remembrance Day', on April 8, 2013 at the National Memorial for the Jewish Martyrs in Brussels. AFP PHOTO /KRISTOF VAN ACCOM (Photo credit should read KRISTOF VAN ACCOM/AFP via Getty Images)
KRISTOF VAN ACCOM/AFP via Getty

TEL AVIV – An anti-Israel aid worker for a Catholic organization who has accused Israel supporters of  “vastly inflating” anti-Semitism will receive an award for peace at Belgium’s main Holocaust memorial museum, sparking fury from Jewish leaders. 

Brigitte Herremans, who in 2016 was banned from entering Israel due to her call for sanctions on both Israel and Israelis visiting Europe, will be presented with the award at Kazerne Dossin, a transit camp that interned some 25,000 Belgian Jews bound for concentration camps during the Holocaust, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.

The Forum of Jewish Organizations on Sunday appealed to Belgian government officials, including Flemish Region Prime Minister Jan Jambon, over Catholic group Pax Christi’s plans to honor Herremans with its “ambassador for peace” award.

“Brigitte Herremans is on an anti-Israel mission,” Hans Knoop, a spokesperson for the Forum, told JTA. “She shouldn’t be honored at a Holocaust monument, it’s a disgrace.”

For its part, Pax Christi in 2017 called on the European Union to “suspend economic relations” with Israel until it “respects international law,” the report said.

In a 2016 radio interview regarding the rise in anti-Semitism in Europe, Herremans said: “When you sometimes hear criticism from certain pro-Israel circles, also in Belgium, then I think that mostly they try to vastly inflate this business to distract” from how Israel “wants to do only as it pleases in the Palestinian territories.”

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