Belgian business punishing Jews for Israel’s position on Russia-Ukraine

Because of Israel’s “failure to recognize war crimes,” local Jews will no longer be welcome at his business, says Belgian car garage proprietor.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The owner of a Belgian car garage sent an email explicitly prohibiting Jews from patronizing his business, due to Israel’s policy on the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

According to the Forum of Jewish Organizations, Ludo Eyckmans, the proprietor of an auto repair shop near Antwerp, wrote that “as of today, our Jewish clients are no longer welcome for maintenance of their cars or solving electronic problems.”

Because of Israel’s “failure to recognize war crimes” reportedly perpetrated by Russia in Ukraine, local Jews would no longer be welcome at his business, Eyckmans wrote.

The Forum of Jewish Organizations told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) that they had responded to Eyckmans in a letter explaining that Belgian Jews have nothing to do with Israel’s foreign policy decisions.

The group also noted that Eyckmans’ actions are illegal under Belgian law, which prohibits the denial of services based on religious faith or national origin.

This is far from the first time that Belgian professionals have punished local Jewish customers for Israel’s foreign policy or military decisions.

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JTA reported that in 2014, during a flare-up of violence between Gaza and Israel, a Belgian café put up a sign — later removed by police — stating that Jews were not welcome.

Additional incidents in 2014 included a Belgian doctor refusing to treat a Jewish woman with a broken rib, recommending that she “visit Gaza to get rid of the pain,” and a store employee ignoring a Jewish customer “as an act of protest.”

Israel has carefully toed the diplomatic line between Russian and Ukraine, cementing its place as one of the few democracies in the world to enjoy warm relations with both Moscow and Kyiv.

Israel has set up a field hospital in Ukraine and assisted with medical aid, but Ukrainian officials have repeatedly slammed the Jewish state for not publicly taking its side nor providing the embattled eastern European country with military support or supplies.