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Israel angry at Polish law limiting kosher slaughter

February 13, 2018 at 11:07 am

Polish parliament [Wikipedia]

Israel has lashed out at Poland after a proposed bill limiting kosher slaughter has been put forward, Quds Press reported yesterday.

It is the latest in deteriorating relations between the two countries which has seen the Israeli Knesset begin official steps to recall their ambassador to Poland.

Several days ago the Polish parliament approved a law that criminalises anyone accusing Poland of complicity in the Holocaust, which caused a major stir in Israel. The bill, which was also signed by the president, still needs the approval of the Polish constitutional court.

Quds Press reported the daily newspaper Israel Hayom saying that the Jewish Association of Europe (EJA) has raised concerns as the Polish parliament prepared to vote on the bill.

The EJA said, according to Israel Hayom, that the bill would affect a significant number of Jewish communities across Europe.

Israel Hayom reported that the bill would impose a prison sentence on kosher slaughterers of up to four years and would make the export of kosher meat illegal.

Read: Israel to recall ambassador to Poland

According the EJA this “would affect a very large [number] of Jewish communities in Europe”.

EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin was reported calling for the Polish government to cancel the bill, claiming this contradicts the freedom of religion.

On Facebook Margolin wrote: “The situation in Poland is unacceptable. I call on the government in Poland to avoid enacting this shameful law and to take into account the Jewish people’s faith.”

Accusing Poland of persecuting Jews, he also said: “I cannot imagine what the next stage will be after the Holocaust law and imposing restrictions on kosher slaughter in the country.”

In 2013 the Polish parliament banned kosher slaughter, but the constitutional court turned down the ban after an appeal by the EJA.