The Intolerance of Demanding that Meat Slaughtered According to Jewish Ritual Be Specially Labelled

November 27, 2017

By Rabbi Menachem Margolin (05/02/2014)
Recent months have seen revived attempts by politicians, both in the European Parliament and as domestic level in various EU member states, to legislate on the sacred ritual tradition of Jewish animal slaughter. A September draft written declaration in the European Parliament called on the Commission to instigate special labelling for the meat of ritually slaughtered animals, to eliminate “misleading omissions liable to distort the transactional decisions of consumers”, whilst claiming that consumers should have the right to ensure the meat they are purchasing comes from animals that have been slaughtered with proper regard to animal welfare.
The Polish parliament dismissed a government-sponsored bill to protect the religious slaughter of animals, whilst their Lithuanian counterparts voted in legislation aimed at protecting the practice.
The ability to eat kosher meat is a fundamental right for all people. The fact is that many people prefer to eat kosher meat simply for health reasons, regardless of religious beliefs or considerations.
Of course, everyone must respect the public’s right to know; there is no question that it is fair and correct to require listing a food’s ingredients on the label. Nevertheless, it is clear that the calls of a number EU member states to label meat slaughtered according to religious ritual as such, sets off many alarms – history has shown that such demands have led to large-scale bloodshed (human, not animal blood).
Did these pluralistic liberals, before attempting to isolate their neighbours who subscribe to different lifestyle choices, ascertain whether or not traditional kosher slaughter causes more harm or abuse to animals, G-d forbid, than other methods of slaughter? Had they conducted that research, they would have discovered that countless objective authorities agree that religious slaughter – both by Jewish and Muslim doctrine – is the least painful method of animal slaughter. In fact, the Jewish kosher slaughter code requires that no less than thirteen steps be taken before an animal may be slaughtered. One of these requirements is to verify that the animal is not hungry or thirsty when it is slaughtered.
If those “enlightened” individuals were truly concerned about animal rights, they would declare war on all forms of slaughter. Animal rights are not guaranteed by disparaging one particular method of killing animals, whilst allowing others to continue unabated, including hunting or factory slaughter?
And if allowances must be made, considering most people consume meat top some degree, and our decision-makers choose instead to legislate on the most humane method of slaughter (is it humane to put a living thing to death in any manner?), they ought to worry about the conditions in which animals are raised before their slaughter. They should be concerned about ensuring
sufficient living space, quality and quantity of food, medications, comfort level during  transportation for slaughter, quality and wattage of the electric shocks administered for slaughter, the number of shots needed to kill an animal, and more.
The number of animals slaughtered each year according to kosher standards is less than 1 percent of those slaughtered by other methods. If the issue in question here is the public’s right to know, what logic is there in demanding that kosher meat be labelled, without addressing the 99.9 percent of the slaughtered animals in the country?
For the past 3,000 years, the Jewish people have had to deal constantly with innumerable attempts to infringe upon their freedom of religion – a liberty that has long been established as a basic human right.
As well as being illogical and inconsistent from the perspectiveof animal rights, labelling kosher meat will give ammunition to anti-Semites to attack Jewish tradition. It is very disturbing to note that people who claim to be enlightened liberals are advancing this motion. These people who present themselves as pluralists are, perhaps unwittingly, waging an all-out war against anyone who chooses to live differently from them.
In the 1930s, things began with the burning of books and ended with the burning of human beings. I shudder to think how this new discrimination, beginning with methods of animal slaughter, will end.

Additional Articles

Rabbi Jacobs Covid Diary gets published!

Chief Rabbi’s unique take and thoughts on the pandemic collected in a book to be launched
Wednesday.
Chief Rabbi Jacobs, a regular contributor here, a dear friend and advisory Board member has had his
unique, stimulating and thought-provoking Covid Diary published in Dutch.
The book will be launched at the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam where Rabbi Vorst, will be
one of the speakers. The first book will be given to Mrs. Blouma Jacobs-Raskin, the Chief Rabbi’s wife.
Some of the reviews of the book are found below:
“In recent years, Chief Rabbi Jacobs has developed into the ambassador of Judaism and the Jewish
community in the Netherlands. In these diary entries he gives a unique insight into what that means:
traveling from north to south, appearances for media, and having very personal conversations. As a
true balance artist, he has both feet in the Jewish community and in Dutch society. ”
Bart Wallet, historian
“Who is Chief Rabbi Jacobs? This book gives us a glimpse into the life and work of the man who know
so many people and who is so widely appreciated. This diary shows us some of his thoughts and ideals.
Who is Chief Rabbi Jacobs? A highly respected member of our Jewish community and a dear friend
who has always supported and will continue to support the State of Israel. ”
Naor Gilon, Israeli Ambassador to the Netherlands
“Chief Rabbi Jacobs gives us an insight into his versatile daily activities. The diary is varied: every day
raises the question of what the next day will bring. Apparently light-footed, but always with a profound
undertone, he makes poignant observations that testify to a deep understanding of people and the
world. ”
Rev. Frank Heikoop, chairman Christians for Israel
“During the many conversations I have with Chief Rabbi Jacobs, he talks about his daily adventures.
He travels all over the country, is an important Jewish voice in politics in The Hague and a sparring
partner for municipalities. He knows what is going on among Jews in the Netherlands. That’s why it’s
great that this chronicle of his is now being published.”
Esther Voet, editor-in-chief Nieuw Israëlitisch Weekblad.
“The Chief Rabbi’s Corona Diary is not about the virus, its horrors, and the restrictions placed on our
daily lives. Binyomin Jacobs has written down how, from the rich traditions of Judaism, he reacted to
what came his way every day. Those traditions are leading for him and not the virus. Refreshing and
offering perspective for everyone, I think. ”
Wim Deetman, former Minister of Education and Science
A link to buy the book (in dutch) is HERE

Remembrance at Auschwitz

EUROPEAN lawmakers and Jewish communal figures commemorated the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht during a ceremony at Auschwitz on Tuesday, calling for enduring memory and education to counter the forces of hatred.
Capping off a conference on antisemitism organised by the European Jewish Association, the delegation – including representatives of more than two dozen countries – held a short candlelighting ceremony, before laying wreaths at the “death wall” where thousands of inmates were killed by firing squad.
“On this day exactly 83 years ago, hundreds of Jews were murdered, fathers, mothers, children, by my countrymen, in my country,” said Stefanie Hubig, the education minister for the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. “Synagogues and prayer houses were set on fire, Jewish cemeteries were devastated. Countless people were arrested and deported to Nazi concentration camps.”
Hubig added, “There is still antisemitism in Germany, and I am ashamed of it, deeply”
Igor Zorcic, president of the Slovenian National Assembly, referenced more recent atrocities in his remarks.
“Unfortunately, present times do not always prove that our promises of ‘never again’ are entirely sincere,” he said. “Remember Srebrenica – and don’t underestimate the seriousness of the current political friction over genocide.”
He was referring to the 1992 massacre at Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where 7000 Bosnian Muslim boys and men were slaughtered by Serbian forces.
Addressing the delegation in Krakow a night earlier, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, chairman of Yad Vashem and a Holocaust survivor, said Kristallnacht underlined how much the world is willing to ignore human suffering.
“[Kristallnacht] was a test to humanity, to all the nations, to all the globe, how would they react,” said the former chief rabbi of Israel. “In my eyes it was a test,” he said, noting how little international outcry followed.
“Ask in your cities, in the archives, for the newspapers of November 10, 11 and 12, 1938: What is written in the newspapers about Kristallnacht? Almost nothing.”
https://www.australianjewishnews.com/remembrance-at-auschwitz/

Red Lines Follow-Up, Meeting with Hungarians High Representatives

We were honoured today to welcome a very-high level delegation of Hungarian diplomats to EJA HQ.

It is not every day that a State Secretary for Civil and State Affairs and 2 Ambassadors to Belgium and the EU deem Jewish Issues important enough to come as a triumvirate and spend over 2 hours with us in a warm, productive and very co-operative meeting.

We thank Mr. Vince Szalay-Bobrovniczky , State Secretary for Civil and Social Affairs at the Office of Prime Minister of Hungary , H.E. Mr. Tamás Iván Kovács, Hungary’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg,  H.E. Mr. Olivér Varhelyi, Hungary’s Ambassador to the European Union, Permanent Representative for their time.

We are delighted to announce that this high ranking diplomatic and governmental team has agreed to take back our Jewish Red lines to the Hungarian Government and Parliament with an intention to adopt them. We are also delighted to report the unwavering commitment of all to safeguarding, growing and enriching Jewish Life in Hungary.

 

New Proposed Bill Limiting Kosher Slaughter In Poland. 

Watch European Jewish Association Chairman, Rabbi Menachem Margolin speaking on the subject of the new proposed bill limiting kosher slaughter in Poland.

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