Moroccan jailed for anti-Semitic knife threat
24 June 2005
BRUSSELS — Antwerp Court sentenced in absentia on Friday a 22-year-old Moroccan man to six months jail and a EUR 550 fine for accosting and threatening a Jewish man last year.
It is the first time that such a case of anti-Semitism has led to a trial and a conviction, newspaper ‘De Standaard’ reported.
The suspect, identified only as Chbaba B., confronted a Jewish man in Statiestraat on 7 June 2004 and said: “I am Palestinian and I want to kill all the Jews”. He then brandished a knife in front of the victim.
The Jewish man cycled to a nearby synagogue and alerted police, who later arrested the Moroccan. The suspect was found to be carrying a hacksaw.
Antwerp Court ruled that B. was driven by deep contempt and by feelings of hostility to Jewish people. “The facts bear witness to unacceptable intolerance and are a form of psychological violence,” the ruling said.
Friday’s ruling was the second time Chbaba B., who is living illegally in Belgium, has been convicted. In February 2004, he was sentenced to eight months jail for a violent theft.
The Forum of Jewish Organisations demanded and won a symbolic compensation of EUR 1 from the defendant on Friday.
Meanwhile, the court will hand down a ruling on 4 October in another case of anti-Semitic street aggression.
In that case, the 23-year-old Bart E., of Antwerp, is accused of verbally abusing two Jewish youths aged 17 and 20 years old. He allegedly called them “dirty Jews” and threatened to head butt them.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news