In March 2016, Belgian Jewish groups condemned country’s famous cartoonist Luc Descheemaeker (here) for entering the Iran’s International Holocaust Cartoon contest. Luc Descheemaeker’s submission failed to win any of the top three positions but his submission won honorable mention, which carried $1000 cash.
Luc Descheemaeker’s submission showing Israel’s Apartheid Wall along the West Bank with the words arbeit macht frei, meaning work sets you free – as if comparing it with the gates at the Holy Auschwitz.
Luc Descheemaeker, who this summer retired from the Sint-Jozefs Catholic Institute high school in the city of Torhout was called Pride of the Institution by the school faculty members.
In May, a staffer at the Belgian-Jewish publication Regards sent the school an email with a URL link to a webpage announcing the winners of the contest accompanied with the text: “It must be a great pride for Sint-Jozefs Institute-College to be associated to the values Luc Descheemaeker stands for.”
Martine De Zutter, a senior faculty member, replied: “We are indeed very proud to have Luc associated with our school. His talent is of great value for the artistic education of our students!”
In June 2016, school’s newsletter, published an interview with Descheemaeker. During the interview Descheemaeker said that he had accepted an offer to travel to Tehran to be a judge at the 3rd Holocaust cartoon competition.
I wonder what Belgium’s Queen Paola would say about Descheemaeker’s fantasy with the Islamic Republic. She gave Descheemaeker an award in 2002 for his children’s puppet theater play the Holocaust for Children based on American Jewish Art Spiegelman’s cartoon memoir Maus.
Incidentally, Belgium is member of the so-called International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance of 34 European countries which proclaim that only Jews can make fun of Holocaust.