Belgium Bans Kosher Slaughter

On the first day of this year, an effective ban on kosher and halal slaughter of animals went into effect in the Belgium’s Dutch-speaking Flanders region; a similar law will take effect in French-speaking Wallonia in September. The law affects not only Belgian Jews but also Jews in countries like Sweden who import their meat from Belgium. The editors of the Jerusalem Post write:

This law, like many others proposed and passed in Europe, was [supposedly written to guarantee the] humane treatment of animals, but a generous dose of anti-Muslim sentiment helped steward it into the law books. The government in Belgium recently fell apart as a result of a dispute over its refugee policy, so issues related to minorities are a hot topic in Brussels and Antwerp. As often happens when xenophobia spreads on the Continent, even when it’s not originally meant to target Jews, they suffer the consequences. . . .

There is a long tradition of European anti-Semites using animal rights to ban kosher slaughter. In Switzerland, which uses a system of referendums to decide on individual policies, the first such [referendum] was on banning sh’ḥitah, which was prohibited [throughout the country] in 1893. Norway banned slaughter without stunning in 1929, [effectively banning kosher slaughter, since halakhah forbids stunning], and Sweden followed in 1937. And, of course, Nazi Germany instituted such a ban, which spread to its Axis allies Italy and Hungary; all three [bans] were overturned. . . .

[Belgian legislators] claim to be taking a moral stand, when in fact, they’ve done the exact opposite—the immoral and undemocratic act of violating their citizens’ basic freedom of conscience.

You have 2 free articles left this month

Sign up now for unlimited access

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Log in now

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, European Islam, European Jewry, Freedom of Religion, Kashrut, Religion & Holidays

Yasir Arafat’s Decades-Long Alliance with Iran and Its Consequences for Both Palestinians and Iranians

Jan. 18 2019

In 2002—at the height of the second intifada—the Israeli navy intercepted the Karina A, a Lebanese vessel carrying 50 tons of Iranian arms to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). But Yasir Arafat’s relationship with the Islamic Republic goes much farther back, to before its founding in 1979. The terrorist leader had forged ties with followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that grew especially strong in the years when Lebanon became a base of operations both for Iranian opponents of the shah and for the PLO itself. Tony Badran writes:

The relationship between the Iranian revolutionary factions and the Palestinians began in the late 1960s, in parallel with Arafat’s own rise in preeminence within the PLO. . . . [D]uring the 1970s, Lebanon became the site where the major part of the Iranian revolutionaries’ encounter with the Palestinians played out. . . .

The number of guerrillas that trained in Lebanon with the Palestinians was not particularly large. But the Iranian cadres in Lebanon learned useful skills and procured weapons and equipment, which they smuggled back into Iran. . . . The PLO established close working ties with the Khomeinist faction. . . . [W]orking [especially] closely with the PLO [was] Mohammad Montazeri, son of the senior cleric Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri and a militant who had a leading role in developing the idea of establishing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) once the revolution was won.

The Lebanese terrorist and PLO operative Anis Naccache, who coordinated with [the] Iranian revolutionaries, . . . takes personal credit for the idea. Naccache claims that Jalaleddin Farsi, [a leading Iranian revolutionary], approached him specifically and asked him directly to draft the plan to form the main pillar of the Khomeinist regime. The formation of the IRGC may well be the greatest single contribution that the PLO made to the Iranian revolution. . . .

Arafat’s fantasy of pulling the strings and balancing the Iranians and the Arabs in a grand anti-Israel camp of regional states never stood much of a chance. However, his wish to see Iran back the Palestinian armed struggle is now a fact, as Tehran has effectively become the principal, if not the only, sponsor of the Palestinian military option though its direct sponsorship of Islamic Jihad and its sustaining strategic and organizational ties with Hamas. By forging ties with the Khomeinists, Arafat unwittingly helped to achieve the very opposite of his dream. Iran has turned [two] Palestinian factions into its proxies, and the PLO has been relegated to the regional sidelines.

You have 1 free article left this month

Sign up now for unlimited access

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Log in now

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hamas, History & Ideas, Iran, Lebanon, PLO, Yasir Arafat