Sir, – “Pre-slaughter stunning less human than ‘shechita,’ study
shows” (January 25) is a fine piece of news.
At the beginning of the
debate in the Dutch lower house of parliament, the chief rabbi of the UK and
Commonwealth, Jonathan Sacks, fruitlessly explained that stunning is so nice for
onlookers because it immobilizes the animal but says nothing about its distress,
while bloodletting does not look so pleasant but works on the animal’s
sensations as it loses consciousness quickly, and so is guaranteed a humane
Have the tables been turned? Are European countries going to
introduce a ban on producing, importing and eating non-kosher meat? That would
fit both scientific reality and our task to be a light unto the
Let’s go on the offensive worldwide and demand a total ban on
MOSHE-MORDECHAI VAN ZUIDEN
Sir, – Prof. Rael Strous’s
assertion that “[s]everal European countries are introducing compulsory stunning
prior to animal slaughter” is both false and potentially damaging to the
protection of shechita across Europe.
Although the debate about religious
slaughter in Holland is ongoing, there have been no proposals elsewhere to
outlaw shechita, and to suggest otherwise is to overstate the success of our
In fact, when the European Union was developing its
Protection of Animals at the Time of Killing regulation, we were able to ensure
that religious slaughter would be subject to a special exemption from the
requirement for pre-stunning.
Together with colleagues from the
Consistoire in France, the EJC, the Conference of European Rabbis and other
colleagues, we have therefore succeeded in securing a European endorsement for
the right of Jewish communities to practice Jewish religious slaughter.
must not be complacent, nor can we give succor to the misguided challenges we
HENRY GRUNWALD London The writer is chairman of Shechita UKEthiopian pain
Sir, – Elad Uzan’s analysis of the media’s disinterest in
Ethiopian demonstrations (“Media double standard harms Ethiopian cause,” January
25) hit the truth right on the head.
Ethiopian Jews who immigrate to
Israel are first of all Jews and expect to be able to integrate into the Jewish
state as such.
The majority of Israel’s reporters who set the
“politically correct” tone are not interested in maintaining a Jewish
Sir, – I liked very much how Elad Uzan
ended his article: “Human beings are sacred in their own right; they must never
be used as mere means to an end.”
Sir, – Ruth
Eglash’s fine article “Court hears that integration fears are obstacle to
Ethiopian aliya” (January 24) notes that the government, which previously
claimed it had cut back aliya because of a shortage of absorption center beds,
has now resorted to a fall-back position that the cutback is due to unspecified
What total nonsense! Does the government seriously
maintain that a difference of three olim per day will critically improve the
absorption process? Is it really the government’s position that a nation of
seven million people, a member of the OECD no less, cannot cope with an aliya of
200 per month? Shame on the bureaucrats and shame on the Prime Minister’s Office
for allowing the inmates to run the asylum. Despite the desperate efforts of
this callous group, the last of the Ethiopian Jews will arrive and be a blessing
to the State of Israel.
JOSEPH FEIT Lawrence,