Monday, February 11, 2008

U.S. Jew kicked out of Belgian cafe for wearing kippah - Haaretz - Israel News

This story appears to be false. For a correction, click here.

the original story from EJP:

Marcel Kalmann, 64, was born in Auschwitz three days before the liberation of the Nazi camp by the Russian army.

ANTWERP (EJP)---The Mayor of the Belgian city of Bruges has asked for an inquiry after an American Jewish tourist was ousted from a café-restaurant because he was wearing a kippa or skullcap.

On a visit to Bruges two weeks ago, Marcel Kalmann, a 64-year-old US professor, entered Le Panier d’Or, a renowned café-restaurant located on the main city square, to have a coffee.

When the waiter saw his kippa under his hat, he told him to get out. “We are not serving Jews, out of here,” he allegedly shouted.

In shock, the man went to another café nearby where the owners helped him to call police. An operator told him that police patrols do not go out for such cases and advised him to call on a police station.
According to the account given by Kalmann to “Joods Actueel”, a Jewish magazine in Antwerp, at the police station a policeman first told him that he didn’t believe his story.

Later, an officer indicated that a complaint can only be registered in Flemish and not in English, adding erroneously that Belgian law doesn’t foresee the anti-Semitic offense.
Kalmann told the magazine that he is planning to lodge a complaint against the owner of the café-restaurant and against the police.

Contacted by ‘Joods Actueel’, the owner Le Panier d’Or acknowledged that Kalmann was ousted. He sais he was ready to offer his apologies but added that the client has a “strange behaviour.” The restaurants in the area spoke rather of a quarrel about outrageous prices.

Patrick Monaert, Mayor of Bruges, has asked police for an inquiry and apologized to Kalmann for the "inadequate behaviours" which, he said, “are contrary to the welcoming image the city intends to give.”
The Jewish community in Antwerp was all the more outraged and moved by this anti-Semitic incident that Kalmann was born in Auschwitz three days before the liberation of the Nazi camp by the Russian army.

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