[Press release, 23-01-2019]
Stigmatizing and derogatory approaches towards Muslims, Palestinians, civil society activists, and even towards progressive Jews have been an earmark of Michael Freilich’s public appearances and editorial tone that dominated the magazine “Joods Actueel”. It is therefore not surprising that Freilich found his natural place in a political party that has tapped into xenophobic sentiments and embraced the anti-immigration discourse of the European extreme right.
Now when the masks have fallen, and Freilich revealed his affiliation with the nationalist right, one can only wonder how come he was embraced by the Flemish media as a representative of the Jewish community as a whole. His polarizing and inciting discourse has inflicted real damage on our communities, which will take many years to heal.
Luckily, many Jews in Belgium do not share Freilich’s political views, and prefer to distance themselves from political forces that have been flirting with fascism and racism in the past and in the present. Unlike Freilich, Een Andere Joodse Stem holds to the Jewish and human values of equality and solidarity, and works to make these values a reality within and outside the Flemish Jewish community, in Belgium and in Europe, as well as in Israel-Palestine.