Orthodox Jew shot dead in Belgian city of Antwerp

An Orthodox Jew was shot dead in Antwerp on Thursday amid concern in Belgium about a rise in anti-Semitism following the stabbing of a Jewish youth in June. The 24-year-old British Jew, Moshe Yitzchak Naeh, who lived in Belgium, was shot in the head after midnight on his way home from a synagogue of which he was sexton.

The heightened tension in Belgium follows the Nov. 2 murder in Amsterdam of outspoken filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who had made a film critical of the treatment of women in Muslim society. His killing triggered a wave of attacks on Muslim schools and mosques and on churches in the Netherlands.

A mosque was attacked in eastern Belgium last week in an apparently related incident. Belgium has a large Muslim immigrant population, largely of Moroccan descent.

Interior Minister Patrick Dewael vowed last week to clamp down on Arabic-language radio stations and Web sites in Belgium that were spreading anti-Semitic and anti-Western propaganda.

No one has been arrested for the June stabbing of a Jewish youth by Arab youths outside a Jewish school in an Antwerp suburb. The stabbing prompted a national outcry and highlighted the anxieties of the city’s 15,000-20,000 Jews, half of them Orthodox. Antwerp has been home to a large community of Orthodox Jews for more than 700 years. Many of Antwerp’s Jews work in the world’s largest diamond distribution centre based in the heart of the city.

Orthodox Jew shot dead in Belgian city of Antwerp