Crowd Defends Israeli Flag at Brussels Memorial Site


A man shouting “Palestine” who angrily grabbed an Israeli flag at the impromptu memorial for victims of the Brussels bombing was restrained by people in the crowd who wrested the flag from his grasp before police arrived, The Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.

The incident occurred in the Belgian capital at Place de la Bourse, which has become a gathering place for honoring the victims with candles, songs of peace and flags from many countries.

At about midday on Sunday, a white-haired man wearing a head covering popular among North African Muslims, after praying in Arabic, shouted “Palestine” and anti-Israel slogans, and called Israel a “terrorist state.” He then trampled over other flags and candles as he moved toward an Israeli flag near the center of the memorial site. Dozens of Belgians began booing him. Several shouted in Flemish and French: “Shameful!” Others shouted in French: “Everyone!” in a call for others to join the booing.

After he grabbed the Israeli flag, he was shoved to the ground and the flag was pulled from his hands amid applause. Two police officers then escorted the man from the scene.

The incident followed others at Place de la Bourse in which mourners intervened to protect the Israeli flag from damage. Three incidents were filmed showing people speaking Arabic or wearing Muslim garb vandalizing, removing or covering up Israeli flags.