The European Union Gives Its Approval to Bans on Kosher Slaughter

Dec. 22 2020

In 1933, shortly after Hitler came to power, Germany enacted a law forbidding Jewish ritual slaughter. Three years later, the Polish legislature passed a similar bill, supposedly on humanitarian grounds—but the actual motivations of a government that was increasingly hostile toward Jews, in an era before animal-rights groups, were no mystery. Such laws have of late experienced renewed popularity in Europe, most recently in the form of a 2017 ban in Belgium. Like its Polish predecessor, it comes in the form of a requirement that animals be stunned before slaughter—a measure unacceptable to both halakhah and sharia. Last week, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) upheld the law. Melissa Langsam Braunstein writes:

[T]he CJEU took the rare step of disregarding [its own] advocate general’s recommendation [that religious carve-outs to the law be made], effectively prioritizing animal rights over Jewish and Muslim Europeans’ religious freedom. It’s a striking choice because Europe remains a continent where millions of minks are still farmed for fashion (or culled for COVID-19 infection), and ducks or geese are force-fed to produce foie gras, a process wherein the “liver swells to approximately 600 percent of its normal size.”

Without question, Thursday’s ruling stands in stark contrast to Europeans’ preferred image of themselves as open-minded and tolerant. Insisting that Jews and Muslims adapt religious laws, which seek to minimize animals’ pain, simply to suit contemporary sensibilities is anything but that.

[Moreover], this ruling won’t be contained. Kosher meat, which is already expensive, will likely become even harder to obtain in a growing number of countries. Further, this ruling is likely to encourage political extremists who would relish making life inhospitable for their countries’ Jewish and Muslim minorities.

Europe’s hostility toward religious outsiders is a centuries-old tradition. It appears that it will always find a way to justify bigotry.

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Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Anti-Semitism, European Jewry, European Union

 

Will Tensions Rise between the U.S. and Israel?

Unlike his past many predecessors, President Joe Biden does not have a plan for solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, his administration has indicated its skepticism about renewing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. John Bolton nevertheless believes that there could be a collision between the new Benjamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government and the Biden White House:

In possibly his last term, Netanyahu’s top national-security priority will be ending, not simply managing, Iran’s threat. This is infinitely distant from Biden’s Iran policy, which venerates Barrack Obama’s inaugural address: “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Tehran’s fist is today otherwise occupied, pummeling its own people. Still, it will continue menacing Israel and America unless and until the internal resistance finds ways to fracture the senior levels of Iran’s regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu undoubtedly sees Iran’s growing domestic turmoil as an opportunity for regime change, which Israel and others can facilitate. Simultaneously, Jerusalem can be preparing its military and intelligence services to attack Tehran’s nuclear program, something the White House simply refuses to contemplate seriously. Biden’s obsession with reviving the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal utterly blinds the White House to the potential for a more significant victory.

To make matters worse, Biden has just created a Washington-based position at the State Department, a “special representative for Palestinian affairs,” that has already drawn criticism in Israel both for the new position itself and for the person named to fill it. Advocated as one more step toward “upgrading” U.S. relations with the Palestinian Authority, the new position looks nearly certain to become the locus not of advancing American interests regarding the failed Authority, but of advancing the Authority’s interests within the Biden administration.

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Read more at 19FortyFive

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Joe Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship