Jewish groups alarmed as Greece poised to ban kosher slaughter

October 28, 2021

The Hellenic Council of State, the highest court, in Greece, ruled on Tuesday to ban halal and kosher slaughter, raising alarm among Jewish religious groups concerned about infringements on religious freedoms.
saw the court revoke the standing slaughter permit, which was provided through a ministerial decision that exempted ritual Jewish and Muslim slaughter practices from the general requirement to stun animals prior to killing them.
The ruling further called on Greek lawmakers to devise a way to meet the demands of animal rights advocates and the needs of Jews and Muslims who follow the laws about food in their traditions.

"The government should regulate the issue of slaughtering animals in the context of worship in such a way as to ensure both the protection of animals from any inconvenience during slaughter and the religious freedom of religious Muslims and Jews living in Greece," Greek news site Protothema cited the ruling.

"We warned in December about the downstream consequences that the European Court of Justice ruling carried with it, and now we see the outcome," Director-General of the European Jewish Association Rabbi Menachem Margolin told JTA.

"Jewish freedom of religion is under direct attack. It started in Belgium, moved to Poland and Cyprus, and now it is Greece's turn," he warned.
Bans on ritual slaughter have been implemented in several countries across the region, including Sweden, Slovenia, Estonia, Denmark, and Finland.
The bans are part of a struggle across Europe between animal welfare activists and Muslim and Jewish community representatives.
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The European Court of Justice ruled last year that all member states had to "reconcile both animal welfare and freedom of religion."
The EJC's Dec. 17 ruling effectively upheld a 2017 decree by the Flemish government to ban ritual slaughter without stunning, as required by most interpretations of Jewish and Muslim law, but said that imposed stricter regulation on ritual slaughter were up to the states themselves. The ruling further urged member states to "adequately and proportionately consider freedom of religion" when making such rulings.
i24NEWS contributed to this report.
https://www.israelhayom.com/2021/10/28/jewish-groups-alarmed-as-greeces-top-court-rules-against-ritual-slaughter/

Additional Articles

Words by Rabbi Benyomin Jacobs on Dutch TV

I stopped worrying about current anti-Semitism. Just fiveminutes I forgot about the anti-Israel propaganda which I see and hear daily around me. I was standing in a serene silence for those five minutes in front of the Children's Monument, het Kindermonument, in former Dutch concentration camp Vught.
“One thousand two hundred and sixty-nine children were put on deportation trains with the Kindertransport on June 6 and 7 in 1943.  A few days later they arrived in extermination camp Sobibor. Upon arrival they were brutely removed from the cattle wagons, driven to the gas chambers via the Himmelstrasse, the Street to the Heaven, as the Nazi scum jokingly called this street. Were they aware of the atrocities which the Nazi’s had planned for them? When did they realize that from the showers heads no water would come out but a deadly killing gas would emerge? How long did they suffer before they souls were forced to leave their young bodies? Didthe SS men, who watched through a few skylights, enjoy the sadistic spectacle?
The names of all those children are engraved on the Children's Monument in National Monument Kamp Vught. Only a very few photographs of a few children still exist. Most children are reduced by the industrial killing machine to a just name,without a face.
Why are we commemorating yearly the Children-Deportation, the Kindertransport? In order to prevent? Is this monument akind of educational project?
Yes, the Kindertransport is commemorated every year, but not to teach, not to warn, not even to prevent!
When I unveiled the monument in 1999, people came forward from the audience after the ceremony. They searched through the names, found and, full of tenderness, love and with tears in their eyes, I saw them putting their hands on the name of their sister, their brother, their child or their grandchild. But the names of most of the children stayed untouched, because thebrothers, sisters, nephews and nieces, fathers and mothers of those children had also been murdered.
One thousand, two hundred and sixty-nine names. Lonely names, letters without faces, without family, as if they never existed. Through the chimneys of the Sobibor crematoria they disappeared into an invisible darkness. Anonymous, completely unknown, no one to think of them anymore. Just letters, a very few damaged photographs, as if they never existed.
Let us close our eyes and think in absolute silence of thechildren of the Kindertransport, who stayed on this earth for such a short while, were so cruelly snatched, and of whom nothing, absolutely nothing, has remained.
No grave, no ashes, just a name. Names without meaning, because no one today is able to remember whose life and suffering is behind their names.”
Credit: Jan van de Ven
Credit: Jan van de Ven

EJA Meeting with PM of of Croatia

Despite the hectic EU Summit schedule, the EJA was honoured that the Prime Minister of Croatia, His Excelency Mr Andrey Plenkovic, took the time to meet today with a delegation from the European Jewish Associa
The wide-ranging meeting covered a lot of ground, including the eventual adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism by Croatia, security concerns for the community in Zagreb, a briefing on the Zagreb opening of the Chesed centre for the loaning of medical equipment to all in need, an initiative to provide holocaust education via gentle and innovative means to younger schoolchildren as well as a fruitful discussion regarding involvement to the EJA’s Delegation to Auschwitz in November.
The EJA thanks Prime Minister Plenkovic for the care and attention he and his government shows to Jews in Croatia and across Europe, and notes that Jews feel safe and secure living and visiting the Country.

AFTER “HAMAS, HAMAS, JEWS TO THE GAS” CHANTS, DUTCH CHIEF RABBI AND MAYOR OF ARNHEM SET FOR FRANK, DIFFICULT BUT NECESSARY TOWN HALL MEETING WITH VITESSE FANS

After supporters of Arnhem based Vitesse football club were heard chanting “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas” ahead of a game against Amsterdam side Ajax last weekend, Dutch Chief Rabbi and European Jewish Association Chairman of the organisation’s committee for combatting anti-semitism Binyomin Jacobs and the Muslim Mayor of Arnhem Ahmed Marcouch are to hold a “town hall” meeting with Vitesse fans with the full support of the football club’s hierarchy.
The town hall meeting - whose date in coming days and details are being finalised - was arranged after Rabbi Jacobs got in touch with the Mayor immediately after the incident. Both agreed that words of condemnation were not enough, but that a constructive approach of engaging and holding a dialogue with supporters was needed.
Mayor Marcouch then contacted the Vitesse hierarchy to arrange a meeting with the supporters group.
Speaking today, Rabbi Jacobs said,
“Clearly the chants are abhorrent and disgusting. They are ignorant and a twin attack on Jews: on Israel and on the Holocaust. The natural reaction is to condemn in the strongest possible terms. We, of course, do so.
“But that on its own is not enough. We must be constructive, we must engage, we must educate so that those who chant what they think are throw-away lines in the spirit of rivalry, are fully aware of the weight of their words, of the damage and hurt that they cause.
The mayor and I, a Jew and a Muslim are fully aware of the dangers of ignorant prejudice. And we are also fully aware that boxing people in with condemnation can just entrench positions into “them and us”. This serves nobody’s interest. Our town hall meeting for which I am grateful to the Mayor for initiating, will be a frank, and we imagine difficult, exchange of views. But an entirely necessary one.”

Letter by Rabbi margolin to the Ghent University

This letter was sent this morning to Ghent University by Rabbi Menachem margolin following complaints by local students.

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