Rabbits, snails and lobster - oh my! Haredim outraged over Netanyahu's 'unkosher' dinner

One Haredi figure said, "We expected the prime minister of Israel, who represents the Jewish State, to behave with more statesmanship and not to eat publicly in such a restaurant"

August 30, 2015 20:38
1 minute read.
Benjamin Netanyahu and Matteo Renzi

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. (photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sparked outrage among Israel's  haredi communities Sunday after it was revealed by a leading haredi news site that, during an official state visit to Italy, he dined alongside Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at an unkosher restaurant featuring rabbit, snails and lobster on its menu.

According to the 'Kikar Shabbat' website, senior haredi politicians expressed disappointment with the prime minister's decision to be hosted at Enoteca Pinchiorri, the Florence restaurant considered to be among the world's top fifty eateries and known specifically for its non-kosher offerings.

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Among those quoted by the haredi portal, one figure was quoted as saying that he"expected the prime minister of Israel, who represents in an official capacity the Jewish State, to behave with more statesmanship and not to eat publicly in such a restaurant."

The dismay did not stop there.

"Whoever maintains a religious constituency that keeps Jewish traditions and considers themselves a major partner of the haredi parties, should have behaved with more caution and sensitivity considering he speaks so highly of his own respect for the traditions of Israel and the Bible."

The incident did not mark the first time that Netanyahu has been slammed by the haredi media for eating at a non-kosher restaurant.

Following his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York last year, Netanyahu had lunch at a non-kosher Midtown Manhattan restaurant with casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

On that occasion, Kikar HaShabat featured the restaurant menu and circled items that mixed milk and meat, in an article headlined: “A Lack of Sensitivity: The Jewish Prime Minister Netanyahu Dined With Adelson in a Pig Restaurant.”

Netanyahu later said that he upholds Jewish traditions, insisting that he had eaten veal chops at the restaurant, and not partaken in any non-kosher fare.

JTA contributed to this report.

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