Brussels May Be Lying About Museum Shootings, Professor Claims

Tariq Ramadan Claims Victims Were Israeli Secret Agents

Shock and Dismay: Belgian officials gather outside the Jewish Museum in Brussels after a shooting attack killed three, including an Israeli couple.
Getty Images
Shock and Dismay: Belgian officials gather outside the Jewish Museum in Brussels after a shooting attack killed three, including an Israeli couple.

By JTA

Published May 30, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A Swiss professor wrote on Facebook that Belgian officials may be part of a conspiracy to falsely present the Brussels Jewish museum shootings as anti-Semitic.

Tariq Ramadan, a Geneva-based lecturer on Contemporary Islamic issues at Oxford University in Britain, speculated on Tuesday that the slaying of four people last week at the Jewish Museum of Belgium was a deliberate attack on Israeli secret agents.

Ramadan was for a time been banned from entering the United States for financial contributions he made to Hamas fronts. Ramadan denied knowing that the charities were Hamas fronts and the ban has been removed.

“The two tourists targeted in Brussels worked for the Israeli secret services,” Ramadan wrote, citing media reports.

“The [Belgian] government does not comment,” Ramadan wrote. “Coincidence. Is this a case of anti-Semitism or a maneuver to divert attention from the real motives of the executioners? We oppose all slaying of innocents and racism but at the same time, it’s time they stopped taking us for fools.”

An unidentified shooter killed two Israeli tourists, Enamuel and Mira Riva, and two museum staffers, Alexandre Strens and Dominique Sabrier.

Belgian Interior Minister Joelle Milquet and French President Francois Hollande said they believed the attack was anti-Semitic.

On Monday, the Israeli daily Haaretz published an analysis on the shooting titled “The Brussels Jewish museum shooting: score-settling or coincidence?”

In it, columnist Amir Oren wrote that the two Israelis were former government employees. Emanuel Riva worked as an accountant for Nativ, a government body which facilitates immigration from the former Soviet Union, and the ministry of finance. His wife worked as an accountant for the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office.

Oren suggested Mira Riva’s real employer was the Mossad, although another Israeli journalist known for his deep sources in the intelligence establishment, Yossi Melman, wrote in the Jerusalem Post that such a conclusion was purely speculative.

Oren wrote that “there was no reason for a hostile country like Iran or an enemy organization like Hezbollah to target either Riva in Brussels,” but added: “Still, perhaps the murder in Brussels was no ‘hate crime’ or ‘anti-Semitic attack’ but a deliberate assassination. This possible hypothesis is supported by the documentation of the killer’s actions. The cameras recorded what seems like professional score-settling.”

The footage shows a man producing an automatic rifle from a bag, entering the museum with it and then fleeing the scene on foot.

On Thursday, the United Nations Security Council issued a condemnation of the shootings, which said the council’s 15 member states “strongly condemned all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, especially against an institution whose mission has always been to promote openness and tolerance.”

Following the attack, Antwerp police deployed a force of 200 police with automatic rifles around Jewish institutions, the Jewish Joods Actueel news site reported.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.