Uniting against the shechita ban

In light of the checkered past of the campaign against ritual slaughter, with its roots in Nazism and xenophobia, the Dutch would do well to reconsider the move.

By JERUSALEM POST EDITORIAL
June 30, 2011 23:26
3 minute read.
Cows.

cows 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The expediencies of politics sometimes make for surprising bedfellows. Left-wing lawmakers in the Dutch lower house of parliament have joined forces with their right-wing counterparts to pass a bill in a 116- 30 vote that, if ratified in another round of voting in the Senate, would effectively ban ritual slaughter – Jewish and Muslim – throughout the Netherlands.

In supporting the bill, which would obligate the stunning of all animals before they are slaughtered – a demand that goes against normative Orthodox Jewish practice and the majority opinion among Muslims – the underdog-loving Left was ostensibly motivated by concern over purported suffering caused to poultry, sheep and cattle. The xenophobic Right, meanwhile, leveled claims of “barbarism” against the Islamic dhabiha and Jewish shechita. Pitted against a common enemy, the Netherlands’ 50,000-strong Jewish community has joined forces with a Muslim population of over 1 million in a rare show of interfaith solidarity to fight the bill.

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