A Jewish volunteer who sought assistance for Israeli victims wounded in the Brussels Islamic terror attacks from the Belgium Crisis Centre last week was met with anti-Semitism, instead of help, by the phone attendant.
In the incident, which was first reported by the Belgian Jewish community’s Joods Actueel, the responder was asked for assistance in helping to move the Israelis to a hospital in Israel.
The operator, who would identify himself only by the Muslim name Zakaria, told the Jewish volunteer that the Israeli victims could not be sent back to Israel, that they could only be sent back to “Palestine.”
The family of the victim was reportedly shocked by the response, saying that “it’s just like Iran” in Belgium.
IPG Belgium, the contractor running the crisis centre, fired the employee in question following this incident.
The following is the translation of the conversation, as published by the New Antisemite blog:
XXX: Good afternoon, my name is XXX, I am a volunteer in the Jewish coordination committee of Antwerp. We are contacted by persons… we have 2 persons of the Jewish community that were hurt in the attacks in the airport
Crisis Centre: Yes sir
XXX: They are prepared to be transported back to Israel. Our volunteers are busy with it and take care of everything but we received information from the hospital that we need special papers from the police that they can be released. Is this correct and to who should we ask that? Can you tell me more about that?
CC: That is effectively.. I will take a look. So … they go back to Palestine.
XXX: Not Palestine, Israel.
CC: Yes, but that was before Palestine, of course. OK
XXX: Could you repeat that again, please? What is the name?
CC: That … Palestine.
XXX: Can I get your name, please?
Cc: Of course, Zakaria.
XXX: And you know only Palestine?
XXX: You don’t know Israel, only Palestine?
CC: I know the Jews went to there, that Palestine received… them and that there is a war between Israel and Palestine, of course. And the occupation… that’s what’s on the news of course.
XXX: Can you help me with the question I have, or not?
CC: Naturally, of course. Thus they go back to Palestine and ask that they could get an attestation. Voila, it is noted.
XXX: Can I have your name again, I didn’t understand it well.
CC: That is correct.
XXX: Zakaria what? What is your last name?
CC: I am not obliged to give it.
XXX; Thank you very much.
CC: You’re welcome. Bye