Belgian car repair shop denies service to Jews because of Israel’s support of Russia

A car repair shop owner in Belgium said he will not serve Jewish clients, thereby protesting against Israel’s position in the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Denying service to individuals based on their faith, race or sexual orientation is illegal in Belgium. Nevertheless, a car shop owner decided he will not serve Jewish clients, claiming that his decision is a protest against Israel’s position over Russia’s war on Ukraine.

The Forum of Jewish Organizations, a group representing Flemish-speaking Belgian Jews, said it will take legal action against Ludo Eyckmans, the owner of the shop in Stabroek near Antwerp, reports The Jerusalem Post.

According to the organisation, Eyckman wrote an email that he sent to the Belgian media, stating: “As of today, our Jewish clients are no longer welcome for maintenance of their cars or solving electronic problems.” In his letter, he referred to Israel’s “failure to recognize war crimes” by Russia’s army in Ukraine as a reason for his decision.

However, last week, Israeli Foreign Yair Lapid asserted that “Russian forces committed war crimes”; Prime Minister Naftali Bennet has not made such harsh claims regarding the war.

The Forum of Jewish Organizations wrote to Eyckmans to explain that Belgian Jews do not have a say in Israeli foreign policy. Eyckmans did not reply to requests for comment from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

In recent years, a number of businesses denied service to Jews in Belgium due to their perception of Israel’s actions.