Belgian parliament hosts exhibit accusing Israel of abusing Palestinian minors; Israeli envoy, Jews protest

Demanding the removal of the “No Way to Treat a Child” photo exhibit, Ambassador Idit Rosenzweig-Abu tweeted a “part two” that she called, “No way to turn your child into a murderer.” 

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Umbrella Jewish groups in Belgium have joined Israel’s ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg in protesting a pro-Palestinian exhibit that was set up Thursday in the federal Parliament’s courtyard.

On Monday, the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Organizations in Belgium (CCOJB) called for the presidents of the Senate chamber and lower house to remove the photo exhibit on Israel’s detention of Palestinian minors.

Titled “No Way to Treat a Child,” the exhibition “contains intentionally decontextualized allegations” against Israel, and reveals the “hateful and dogmatic militancy” of its organizers, CCOJB charged. Hosting the exhibit in Parliament is “an unacceptable import of the very complex conflict prevailing in the Middle East.”

The Forum of Jewish Organizations noted out that the exhibit’s sole purpose seemed to be the demonization of Israel and its people. For example, no mention is made of the fact that thousands of Palestinian children are treated every day in Israeli hospitals, or that some minors are detained because they participate in violent acts against Israelis.

Ambassador Idit Rosenzweig-Abu had immediately reacted to the opening of the showing by posting on Friday a series of tweets in which she displayed what she called “part two of the exhibition.” Naming it “No way to turn your child into a murderer,” she wrote, “The Palestinians systematically use children for #terror and are proud of it.”

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The “Use of minors for terror is so common that in some years, like 2016, 40% of terror attacks were committed by minors,” she wrote.

Palestinians are “indoctrinated” to terror from an early age, she added, attaching a video from a Hamas summer camp that taught young children to hate Israel and laud martyrdom.

Ironically calling her examples of youthful terrorists “the ‘child play’ of Palestinian youth,” she mentioned “Dafna Meir, aged 39, mother of six, slaughtered with a knife by a 16-year-old Palestinian at home, in front of her children.”

She also tweeted pictures of the victims, including that of toddler Adele Biton, who died after two years of hospitalizations after a group of Palestinian teenagers hurled a barrage of rocks at the car her mother was driving, causing it to spin out of control and smash into a truck. The ambassador explained that rock-throwing was a “popular children[‘s] pastime offered by terror organizations.”

“Federal parliament,” she concluded, “it is regretful that your esteemed halls are used for a manipulative exhibition…. The word “child” suggests innocence but the Palestinians repeatedly use children as killing machines and THAT IS “No way to treat a child.”

President of the Chamber Eliane Tillieux responded to Rosenzweig-Abu’s letter of protest by saying that the “main objective” of the exhibition, “is humanitarian: to show that children are always the first victims of armed conflicts.”

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She wrote that the exhibition had been initiated by the Belgian branch of the NGO Defense for Children International, which “is supported by the Belgian public authorities.”

In October 2021, Defence for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P) was designated a terrorist organization by Israel, as several of its employees and board members allegedly had ties to the terror group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Tillieux ended by saying that she has “taken careful note” of the Israeli ambassador’s request to organize an exhibition of her own at the Assembly.