Belgians cannot ‘eat chocolate’ and fight terror: Israel minister

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Israel’s intelligence minister accused Belgian leaders of laxity Wednesday over the threat posed by homegrown radicals, the second cabinet member to hit out after the deadly bombings in Brussels.

“If in Belgium they continue to eat chocolate, enjoy life and parade as great liberals and democrats while not taking account of the fact that some are there are organising acts of terror, they will not be able to fight against them,” Yisrael Katz told public radio.

Katz charged that not only European leaders but also US President Barack Obama had undermined the battle against extremist violence with their unwillingness to define it as “religious terrorism”.

“When you don’t define your enemy, you can’t lead a worldwide campaign,” he said.

Katz, who is also transport minister, is a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud and widely seen as his principal rival within the party.

On Tuesday, another Likud member – Science, Technology and Space Minister Ofir Akunis – lashed out at Europe after the Brussels bombings, accusing it of ignoring the danger of “terror cells” and focusing on criticising Israel instead.