Belgian Left-Wing Daily That Demeaned Jews’ ‘Ugly Noses’ Accuses Jewish MP of Spying for Israel
A prominent left-wing daily newspaper in Belgium that was widely condemned last July for publishing an article that demeaned Jews for their “ugly noses” was again in the spotlight this week, after its editor in chief accused a Jewish member of the country’s parliament of spying for Israel.
No evidence was produced to back the claim made by Bart Eeckhout — editor of De Morgen — against Michael Freilich, the former editor of the Joods Actueel Jewish magazine who was elected to parliament this year as a representative of the center-right N-VA Party.
Eeckhout’s ire was triggered when Freilich’s office posted video on the parliamentarian’s popular Twitter feed of Belgian legislators meeting with pro-Palestinian advocates. Without contacting Freilich to ask about the purpose of the videos, Eeckhout accused the parliamentarian — in an editorial headlined “Antisemitism” — of conducting espionage on behalf of Israel.
“Was Mr. Freilich just adding to his private collection of movies of Israel critics, or was he collecting information for other interested parties, like Israel?” Eeckhout wrote in a screed published last Saturday. “The former would be amateurish, the latter, however, smells like espionage.”
Freilich, who is not an Israeli citizen, condemned the accusations leveled by De Morgen as blatant antisemitism reminiscent of the infamous Dreyfus trial in France in the late 19th century, when a Jewish army captain was falsely convicted of spying.