Via BBC:

A Belgian city has defended as “just fun” a carnival featuring caricatures of Orthodox Jews wearing huge fur hats, long fake noses and ant costumes.

Israel, Jewish groups and Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilm├Ęs were among many who strongly condemned the costumes in Sunday’s parade in Aalst.

Some critics said likening Jews to ants was similar to Nazi anti-Semitism, which persecuted Jews as “vermin”.

The Aalst mayor’s spokesman told the BBC “it’s our humour… just fun”.

Peter Van den Bossche said “there isn’t a movement behind it” and “we don’t wish harm to anyone”.

“It’s our parade, our humour, people can do whatever they want,” he said. “It’s a weekend of freedom of speech.”

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