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Belgian report
by Euro Reporter
2014-08-04 13:01:45
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Belgian doctor refuses treatment to Jewish patient

A Belgian physician who refused to treat a Jewish woman with a fractured rib suggested she visit Gaza to get rid of the pain. The physician made the remark on Wednesday while manning a medical hotline in Flanders, Belgium’s Flemish region, whose capital, Antwerp, has a sizeable Orthodox Jewish population, the local Jewish monthly Joods Actueel reported Thursday. The woman, Bertha Klein, had her son, who is American, call the hotline at 11 p.m. “I’m not coming,” the doctor reportedly told the son and hung up. When the son called again, the doctor said: “Send her to Gaza for a few hours, then she’ll get rid of the pain.” According to Joods Actueel, the doctor confirmed the exchange, saying he had an “emotional reaction.”

Health ministry officials were looking into the incident, according to the monthly’s online edition. According to Joods Actueel, the doctor knew the patient was Jewish because of Klein’s son’s American accent. The family called a friend, Samuel Markowitz, who is an alderman of the Antwerp district council and a volunteer paramedic. He called the doctor to confirm the exchange, and also recorded their conversation. Hershy Taffel, Bertha Klein’s grandson, filed a complaint with police for discrimination.

“It reminds me of what happened in Europe 70 years ago,” Taffel told Joods Actueel. “I never thought those days would once again be repeated.” Joods Actueel editor-in-chief Michael Freilich said the incident is particularly alarming because it comes amid a string of recent incidents which involved boycotts against Jews in Belgium since the start of Israel’s attack on Hamas in Gaza on July 8. Since then, an Orthodox Jewish woman was refused service at a clothes store in Antwerp, and police removed a sign in French and Turkish from a café near Liege which said dogs were allowed but Zionists and Jews were not.


Belgium calls for clear labelling of goods from Israeli settlements

Belgium has advised retailers to label clearly the origin of products made in Israeli settlements that are in occupied Palestinian territories. The non-binding recommendation has nothing to do with the escalating conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, the economics ministry said, noting that Britain and Denmark already had similar labelling guidelines in place. "It's a non-binding advice to state on labels that products originating from occupied territories come from there," a spokeswoman said. "We don't see this as a sanction against Israel, but EU rules stipulate that consumers have to be informed of the origins of products."

The ministry planned to send a letter to retail federations on Tuesday recommending the use of such labels. Neither Belgium's national retail federation, Comeos, nor the Israeli embassy in Brussels would comment before the letter was issued. Israel has been critical of any move to label produce from Jewish settlements clearly or distinguish them from goods produced by Palestinians, arguing that the distinction is part of a larger effort to impose a Palestinian state on Israel.

The labels Belgium has in mind would mainly apply to fruit and vegetables grown in the West Bank's Jordan valley, but they could also include products such as sparkling water made by SodaStream and cosmetics by Ahava, both of which have production facilities in the West Bank. Settlement goods are often labelled either "produce of the West Bank", implying it could be Palestinian produce, or "produce of Israel", suggesting it could have originated on the Israeli side of the 1967 green line. Jewish settlements in occupied Palestinian territory are not considered part of the state of Israel under international law.


Mass DNA swap with Belgium may solve hundreds of crimes

In total, 1,745 matches were found when crime scene DNA held in data banks in the two countries was compared. In 576 cases, DNA found at a crime scene in one country could be linked to someone who had been forced to give a sample in the other. ‘We do not know the person whose DNA was found at the site is the perpetrator, but it does give detectives new routes to follow and possible suspects,’ Jan De Kinder of the Belgian national criminology institute is quoted as saying by Het Laaste Nieuws.

Belgium will also soon make DNA exchanges with German and French DNA banks. Since 2005, everyone convicted of a crime punishable by four years or more in jail in the Netherlands must give a dna sample. This is kept on the data base for 20 years.

According to BNR radio, the Netherlands has been making DNA exchanges with Germany, France, Luxemburg, Spain and Austria since 2008. Belgium has just come on board, hence the large number of positive results.  The DNA checks take place on a daily basis and proceed automatically, BNR said.


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Emanuel Paparella2014-08-04 15:43:05
So much for the Hippocratic Oath! Good old anti-Semitism seems to be creeping back in Europe, together with ultra-nationalism, so much for human rights and the ideals of the EU. Fortunately, the vast majority of Europeans retain the ability to judge fairly, but one has to begin wondering if the current one-sided critique of Israel’s conduct in Gaza, that can be clearly detected in most of Europe and in some quarters in the US, is dictated by genuine concern for the Palestinians’ plight or by sheer biased hatred of the Jews. That would mean that precious little has been learned from the horrible genocide committed 70 years ago, just as precious little seems to have been learned about the appeasement of bullies and its future consequences. Those who forget their past history are unfortunately bound to repeat it. Studies have been done ascertaining that virulent anti-Semitism is usually a prelude to great geo-political disasters. We can only hope and pray that such is not the case this time around.

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