Israeli tourist attacked by mob in Belgium, suffers broken jaw

According to several reports, passersby ignored the father and daughter’s pleas for help.

By The Algemeiner Staff

A 64-year-old Israel tourist was attacked by a mob in the Belgian city of Bruges and suffered a broken jaw after he and his daughter removed an anti-Israel sticker in a train station on Friday, according to the European Jewish Association and Israel’s Embassy in Belgium.

The assailants saw Amnon Ohana and his 29-year-old daughter Shira removing the sticker from a wall at a Bruges train station and proceeded to attack the father, punching and kicking him.

The Israeli tourists fled to a lower floor but were pursued by at least one of the attackers, who knocked Ohana to the ground and continued to strike him.

 

After the assailants left the scene, Ohana was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a broken jaw.

According to several reports, passersby ignored the father and daughter’s pleas for help.

Ohana filed a complaint with local police against the assailants but reportedly said the authorities did not seem willing to prosecute them to the full extent of the law, despite the attack being filmed by his daughter and security cameras.

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Israeli Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg Idit Rosenzweig-Abu decried the incident, calling attention to a spike in antisemitic incidents that has turned increasingly violent.

“A 64-year-old Israeli man was attacked while on a tourist visit in Bruges,” the ambassador wrote on X/Twitter. “He was kicked to the head and suffered a fracture to his jaw. What started as violent discourse has turned in past weeks to actual violence on the streets. We expect the authorities to denounce this violence in the strongest terms possible. And we expect the police to find and press charges against this man.”

The Israeli Embassy in Belgium reportedly filed a complaint with the mayor of the city, calling on the attackers to be arrested.

The attack came amid a global surge in antisemitism following Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel and during the ensuing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. Antisemitic incidents have reached record highs in several countries, especially in the US and Europe.

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association, condemned the assault and the rise in antisemitism, noting that the incidents have been escalating to full-scale violence against Jews and Israelis.

“It is no longer just verbal violence or spitting but real physical attacks that can end in disaster,” Margolin said, according to Israeli media reports. “Don’t wait for us to be murdered to understand that you must act more decisively against the troublemakers. Today it is against Jews and tomorrow the incited mob will attack anyone who looks Western in their eyes.”

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Margolin then called on Belgium to prosecute the assailants to the fullest extent of the law.

“It cannot be that a Western country claiming to be a state of law like Belgium will not act for the immediate arrest of the antisemitic assailants and refrain from immediate enforcement to prosecute them to the full severity of the law,” he added.