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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Large Belgian trade show disinvites Israeli diplomat after Saudi request

Accenta is a large annual trade fair held in Flanders, Belgium. Over 100,000 people are expected to attend this year's fair, running for the next week.

The main sponsor this year is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. And after they found out that the Israeli ambassador to Belgium, Tamar Shamash, was invited, they complained to the fair organizers.

Accenta organizers gave in, and un-invited her.
Kirsten Karlsson, the communications officer of Accenta confirmed to the Jewish News the withdrawal of the invitation: "That is true, the ambassador is not welcome ... Saudi Arabia is the host this year ... and her presence is too sensitive".
Interestingly, however, the fair features Israeli company Soda Stream.Until the Saudis make another polite demand, I suppose.

(h/t Philosemitism blog)