Israel decries Polish ban on Kosher livestock slaughter

By Kay Steiger
Monday, July 15, 2013 16:05 EDT
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A giant menorah is decorated with lights in front of the Palace of Culture in Warsaw's downtown during a ceremony for Hanukkah, on December 28, 2005. (AFP)
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Israel said Monday a Polish ban on the ritual slaughter of livestock for food is “unacceptable” and a “blow” to Jewish tradition, calling on the parliament to review its decision.

The foreign ministry also summoned Poland’s ambassador Jacek Chodorowicz to express its discontent, an Israeli official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“Israel is disappointed in the decision of the Polish parliament to forbid an important religious ritual which has been common practice among millions of Jews since ancient times,” the ministry said in a statement.

The slaughter of animals for food — a ritual among Jewish and Muslim communities — has been banned in Poland since January 1 after a constitutional court ruled it was incompatible with animal rights law.

The government had sought to overturn the ban and sent a bill to parliament to that effect, but it was struck down on Friday in a move that angered the Jewish community, farmers and companies that export kosher meat to Israel and halal meat to Muslim countries.

The Israeli foreign ministry said the decision by the Polish parliament “to reject kosher slaughter in Poland is totally unacceptable.

“We call on the Polish parliament to review its decision and we expect the relevant parties to find a way to prevent this brazen blow to the religious tradition of the Jewish people.”

Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger is the managing editor of Raw Story. Her contributions have appeared in The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Campus Progress, The Guardian, In These Times, Jezebel, Religion Dispatches, RH Reality Check, and others. You can follow her on Twitter @kaysteiger.
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