January 27: Kashrut Offense

Have the tables been turned? Are European countries going to introduce a ban on producing, importing and eating non-kosher meat?

Kashrut offense
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 death.
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 nations.
Let’s go on the offensive worldwide and demand a total ban on non-kosher meat! MOSHE-MORDECHAI VAN ZUIDEN Jerusalem
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 detractors.
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.
We must not be complacent, nor can we give succor to the misguided challenges we face.
HENRY GRUNWALD London The writer is chairman of Shechita UK
Ethiopian 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 state.
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.”
TOVA WALD Jerusalem
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 absorption problems.
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, New York