The Dutch parliament has begun legislation proceedings that will ultimately ban Jewish slaughter on the grounds that it causes undue suffering to animals and constitutes abuse of them. If the law is passed, Holland will become the first country to ban Jewish slaughter since the EU was formed.
The Dutch parliament has begun legislation proceedings that will ultimately ban Jewish slaughter on the grounds that it causes undue suffering to animals and constitutes abuse of them. If the law is passed, Holland will become the first country to ban Jewish slaughter since the EU was formed, and this is exactly what the Foreign Ministry fears. If the law is passed by The Hague, this will spread to other countries that will ban the import and sale of kosher meat.
The bill is the initiative of the PVD party, which is in the opposition. The bill is also supported by the radical right wing Party for Freedom, which spreads Islamo-phobia, headed by Geert Wilders. The bill calls to reduce, as much as possible, the suffering of animals in the process of their slaughter, and to ensure that all animals undergo electric stunning and only be slaughtered afterwards. This means that Jewish and some Muslim slaughter will be banned because they kill the animal while it is fully conscious.
The bill is contrary to the EU constitution, which while it does state that animals being led to slaughter must be stunned, made an exception for Jewish and Muslim slaughter. Kosher slaughter is, in fact, banned in Switzerland, Sweden and Norway, but there it is a “legacy” from World War II.
The Jewish community in Holland, which numbers about 25,000 people, is vehemently opposed to the bill and is trying to recruit a lobby to help it. The Israeli embassy at The Hague pushed for the postponement of the debate in parliament, which was scheduled to take place last week and has been postponed in the meantime, and Jewish organizations, such as the Wiesenthal Institute have protested against the bill. The Jewish European Congress even instructed its representatives in Jewish communities in Germany, France and Britain to meet with the Dutch ambassadors and explain to them that if the bill is passed into law, it will damage Holland’s image in Europe and the world. Concurrently, MKs in Israel will meet this week with a delegation of parliament from Holland, and will put pressure on them to stop the legislation.
“Holland is a liberal country and it is impossible to explain how, on the one hand, they have made prostitution and selling light drugs legal, but when it comes to human rights relating to slaughter according to Jewish religious law, they will ban it,” said one official in the European Jewish Congress. “Holland is putting animal rights before human rights. The Jews are not the target, but they will suffer from this.”
The Israeli embassy at The Hague issued a response: “We hope that Holland will uphold the status quo of Jewish slaughter and realize that Jewish Halacha upholds respect for animals.”