University uses hook nose gesture for ‘Jew’ in sign language

Belgian university draws criticism for using hooked nose gesture as sign for 'Jew'.

Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA ,

A model gestures a hooked nose depicting "Jew"
A model gestures a hooked nose depicting "Jew"
University of Ghent via JTA

A gesture signaling a hooked nose is how one Belgian university described “Jew” in its online sign-language dictionary.

The University of Ghent compiled the dictionary and features the gesture in videos on the website.

The European Jewish Association protested in a statement Monday. Its director, Menachem Margolin, said the first two videos depicting a Jew “seem standard.” Both show a presenter stroking an imaginary beard.

“The second involving side-locks are borderline acceptable if misleading,” he said, “and the last two are simply racist and demeaning to Jews, using a gesticulation of a large and hooked nose to define Jew.”

Margolin has asked campus authorities to remove the two gestures from the dictionary.