Coalition under heat after PM's non-Kosher nosh

Although Netanyahu has denied the allegations, members of Knesset are threatening dissolve the coalition in response to the Prime Minister's Italian feast.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
August 31, 2015 19:34
1 minute read.
Pig netanyahu

This little piggy might send Netanyahu all the way home. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

United Torah Judaism threatened on Monday to say “that’s all folks” to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition, because he ate in a non-kosher restaurant in Italy that serves such treif delicacies as rabbit, lobster and suckling pig.

Netanyahu dined in Florence over the weekend with his Italian counterpart, Matteo Renzi at the fancy Enoteca Pinchiorri, which has been rated one of the world’s top 50 restaurants. The menu features such items as rabbit with Taggiasche olives, lobster with lemon grass and apple in its shell, sea scallops in lard, roasted scampi tails, mackerel bites in squid’s ink and Mora Romagnola baby pork.

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It is customary that prime ministers and presidents refrain from eating blatantly non-kosher foods in official proceedings abroad.

The Prime Minister’s Office said Netanyahu accepted Renzi’s invitation to eat at the restaurant, but that he “did not eat any food that can be defined as not kosher.”

But that explanation was not good enough for United Torah Judaism. A spokesman for UTJ leader Ya’acov Litzman, who was officially approved by the cabinet as health minister Monday, said the prime minister dining at the restaurant was “completely unacceptable.”

Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) politicians told the Kikar Hashabbat website, which broke the story, that they expected the head of a Jewish state to show proper respect to his Jewish heritage and to not eat publicly at such a restaurant.

“A partner of the haredi parties who received votes from followers of Jewish tradition should behave more sensitively, especially because he speaks so highly about his warm feelings for tradition and the Bible,” a haredi politician told the site. “Maybe if he was on vacation, it would be different, but this is an official visit, so he was openly mocking and really harming the feelings of the religious and haredi population in Israel.”

The same website reported last year about a meal in which Netanyahu dined with his US patron Sheldon Adelson at the non-kosher restaurant Fresco by Scotto, which serves pork and shellfish.

Following the report, Netanyahu told Channel 2 that he “never ate non-kosher food.” But a Twitter account in the name prime minister’s disgruntled former house - keeper, Meni Naftali, tweeted Monday that he ordered shrimp for Netanyahu’s residence.

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report


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