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!
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • 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.