Yisrael Katz
Yisrael KatzYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israel's Foreign Ministry on Saturday evening responded to a decision by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to remove the Aalst Carnival from its Cultural Heritage list.

"During the Bogota conference yesterday, UNESCO announced that it would be removing the Aalst carnival from its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list," a statement from the Foreign Ministry said.

"This decision comes after much intense diplomatic activity by the Foreign Ministry, all over the world, so that the carnival would be removed from the list due to the blatantly anti-Semitic displays which were shown at it.

"The removal of the carnival from the list sends an important message that displays of anti-Semitism have no place at UNESCO or in the world."

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) said: "I am thankful for the proper and ethical decision to remove the carnival from the Cultural Heritage list. In the 21st century, as anti-Semitism tries to rear its ugly head, there is no room for tolerance towards it."

"We expect the Belgian government to speak out loudly and clearly against displays of anti-Semtism at the carnival.

"Anti-Semitism is a sickness which threatens not just the Jewish nation but every society and country in which it exists. The world must unite to fight against it."