Train company security officials are investigating how four passengers managed to access the intercom to spread anti-Semitic messages.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
Four passengers on a Belgian passenger train hijacked the intercom system and used it to announce anti-Semitic messages, Belgium’s VRT news agency reported Thursday.
The incident occurred late Wednesday afternoon when four people were able to use the intercom of a train that was running between Antwerp and Mechelen, the report said.
The four announced “various anti-Semitic messages …that are discriminatory or racist towards Jews” and were heard throughout the train.
Witnesses reportedly heard them warn that “the cancer Jews need to leave the train now or we’ll blow you all up.”
The train conductor reported the incident, and the NMBS transport company that operates the train called in its security service, Securail, to apprehend the perpetrators. However, when the train arrived at the Mechelen station, the four managed to elude the authorities.
“We started an investigation and of course strongly condemn the incident,” said an NBMScompany spokesperson.
NMBS said it is investigating how the event happened in order to prevent a recurrence. In 2012, a similar incident took place aboard a SNCB train, the report said.
Belgium has been the site of numerous anti-Semitic incidents in recent years, including the 2014 terror attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels in which four people were killed, including an Israeli couple on holiday, a French woman and a Belgian employee of the museum.
Earlier this year, the annual carnival parade in the Belgium town of Aalst featured anti-Semitic themes, costumes, displays, and statements. It was the second year in a row that the parade included anti-Semitic characters.
The carnival is an annual event rooted in medieval times and was recognized in 2010 by UNESCO — the UN’s cultural and educational agency — as belonging to the “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.” However, last year, UNESCO revoked the status and condemned the parade as a “recurring repetition of racist and anti-Semitic representations.”