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Saturday, April 21, 2018 

An ultra-Orthodox candidate in Antwerp elections won't shake hands with women. Big mistake, and he had to withdraw

A Haredi working with a Belgian political party embarrassed the Jewish community as a whole because he wouldn't shake hands with women - just what some Muslims won't do either - and had to withdraw his candidacy:
An Ultra-Orthodox Jew in Antwerp, who was on the list of the Christian-Democrat CD&V Flemish party for the communal elections in October, withdrew his candidacy this week after causing a turmoil by saying that if elected he would respect a certain number of religious principles and that he would in particular refuse to shake hands with women.

During a press conference in the port city, home of a large ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, Aaron Berger said he understands the ‘’sensitivity of society’’ regarding shaking hands with women which his community considers instead as a mark of respect.

However, Berger said that while he withdrew his candidacy, he continues to support the CD & V party which, in his view, remains “the most favorable party” to the Jewish community. “They are open to dialogue with all communities and this dialogue will continue,” he said.
I hope so, but he didn't do them any favors by keeping such antiquated visions in place, and making himself look almost as scummy as the Islamofascists you'd think he was against. How does he expect to oppose Islam effectively if he won't avoid "customs" that look almost as reprehensible?
At the same press conference, Kris Peeters, leader of CD&V and Deputy Prime Minister in the Belgian federal government, declared : “Nobody, and certainly not Mr. Berger, is questioning the respect between man and woman.”

He added: “It has been said that Antwerp is a city where there is a form of apartheid between communities. It cannot be a city in which different communities do not meet, so we think it is very important to make efforts and to look for people from these communities willing to break this so-called apartheid.”
My advice is not to look for a Haredi candidate. An Orthodox adherent, yes, but not one who holds the kind of insulting "customs" that jerk does, and has no self-confidence in his ability to manage good interactions with the fairer sex. In fact, that's probably not even the worst thing about him. No, what is, if the following is true:
Another sensitive element around Berger’s candidacy mentioned by the media was the fact that he has been recently found guilty of theft by the Antwerp Criminal Court. He would have stolen 28,500 euros from an old sick man. This information may have influenced the withdrawal of his candidacy. “The fact that his criminal record is blank is in his favor, it’s now up to him to explain the nature of the theft, when it was dated, and how important the case was,” commented Michael Freilich, editor of the Antwerp Jewish magazine media “Joods Actueel”.

Around 18,000 Jews live in Antwerp, a city of 500,000 inhabitants.
If he really did that, he has only dealt all the more damage to the image of the community he comes from, by fleecing a guy who in the hospital. There have been Haredi rabbis in Israel like Yona Metzger who were charged with fraud, and that does no favors for anybody. In any case, the Belgian candidate's only proven why he's not fit to shine shoes.

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