|"How can I help you, you filthy Jew?"|
This sort of thing is not really surprising. The overall Muslim population of Belgium is 5% to 7%, though it is higher in most major cities, constituting 20% and 25% of Antwerp and Brussels, respectively. Despite what you might hear from Islamophobes like me, some Muslims have "assimilated" or at least they have assimilated in so far as they hold down actual jobs in the mainstream economy (such as working in the IPG Belgium Call Center featured in this story).
Now we can add the polite and helpful but politically opinionated call center operator to the gallery of harmless everyday Muslims--the handsome academic, the nice veiled woman, the pleasant baker--featured in Charlie Hebdo's "How the hell did I end up here?"
At least two Israelis were injured in the terror attacks in Brussels. Israel would like to fly them home and so in order to release them from the hospital, a Jewish volunteer called up the Crisis Center set up by the Ministry for Internal Affairs to ask about the procedure.
He was told that the Israeli victims could not be sent back to Israel, they can only be sent back to Palestine. The family of the victim is shocked and says that "It's just like Iran here".
This is not the first time an emergency responder decides a Jewish medical emergency is a good reason to preach for Palestine. During the Gaza war, a doctor refused to treat a 90 year old Jewish woman, and suggested to "send her to Gaza for a few hours"Here is the recorded conversation in Flemish, followed by a translated transcription:
Contact with the Crisis Centre of the Ministry of Internal Affairs
Wednesday March 30th around 17:00
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 (opvangen) 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 you 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
EoZ adds this from The Jewish Telegraphic Agency:
Michael Freilich, the editor-in-chief of Joods Actueel, said it “defies imagination” that a Belgian state employee would display the anti-Israel behavior that is commonplace in Arab countries. He also called for punishing the operator instead of issuing the “standard apology.”
The recording’s release follows at least four recorded cases in which people who either spoke Arabic or wore Muslim traditional garb, destroyed, concealed or removed Israeli flags at an impromptu memorial space set up for the attacks’victims at Place de la Bourse in Brussels. It features many flags, including of Arab countries and the Palestinian Authority.