A Jewish woman in Belgium said she was not allowed to purchase anything from an Antwerp store after the owner told her he would not sell to Jews, according to a Belgium news report.
Quoting the report in Joods Actueel, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service reported that the clothing store owner refused to serve her on Monday “out of protest,” though did not specify what exactly the protest was.
“When I came to the cash register to pay for a few items I was told, ‘We currently don’t sell to Jews out of protest,’” said the woman, who was identified only by her initials, B.H.
After hearing about the woman’s experience, another individual visited the store with a hidden camera. Reports conflicted as to whether a reporter for Joods Actueel recorded the subsequent exchange or the woman’s husband.
An employee, not the owner, was in the shop during the second visit and was heard on video confirming the Jewish woman’s story.
“It was my boss and he was protesting,” the employee said, according to JTA’s translation of the exchange.
The Jewish customer told Joods Actueel that she was shocked by the experience, which reminded her of the anti-Semitism her grandfather experienced in Europe 70 years ago.
Asked if the owner really has a policy of not selling to Jews, the employee said, “Yeah, that’s what he says.”
However, the store owner later denied the policy when asked about it directly by Joods Actueel.
“On the contrary, we have many Jewish clients and we buy our products from a Jew,” said the owner, who was not named. “Why would we not sell to Jews? We’d only be hurting ourselves.”
An Antwerp police spokesman said the case was being investigated, JTA reported.
The video of the hidden camera exchange can be viewed at Joods Actueel (note: video is in Flemish with no English translation).