(JTA) — A well-known theater actor from Belgium told one of his country’s best-read weeklies that he is infuriated by the “procreation policies of the Jews in Israel.”
Wannes Cappelle, 37, made his remarks in an interview published Sunday in De Zondag.
“Those procreation policies of the Jews in Israel, to name one example, is simply a crime. It infuriates me,” Cappelle was quoted as saying in response to a question on whether he can “understand fear of the other” following what the interviewer defined as “A Trump, a Brexit, the acceptance of the far right in Europe.”
Before mentioning Israel, Wannes, who also is an award-winning musician, said “I find it difficult. Opposite [Donald Trump] you also have Bernie Sanders, which inspires hope. I try my best to be hopeful. Most of all I worry over overpopulation. The human race is too stupid to keep it under control.”
According to a 2014 study by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, the Jewish state has “one of the highest birthrates in the developed world, with an average of three children per woman compared to an average of 1.7 children in the OECD,” the 35-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Israel, a nation of 8.5 million, has a “government policy that encourages births in various ways,” the report also says, noting that “the state provides a relatively supportive environment for working mothers, leading to relatively high participation in the workforce by mothers aged 25-44.”
Israel is the only country in the world, according to the report, where insured female citizens who cannot conceive receive for nearly no payment an unlimited number of costly procedures aimed at achieving conception. This coverage, which is given to all citizens, Jewish and otherwise, is provided to women under 45 with fewer than two children.
Arab women have a slightly higher birthrate than Jewish ones in Israel, according to Central Bureau of Statistics data from 2014.
Egypt, Israel’s southern neighbor and a nation of nearly 90 million, has a rising birthrate of 3.5 children per woman, according to an article published last year by The Economist.