Boycott Watch
Holland & Kosher Ritual Slaughter - Resolved
Last Updated 12-5-02
   Boycott Watch has received a complaint that our story regarding Holland banning Kosher ritual slaughter was not true.
   Note: This rumor has been spread to include a ban of Kosher slaughter in four European countries and Kosher meat in all of Europe, but there is no evidence to support the claim. There have been, however, attempts to boycott kosher slaugher. Click Here for an aricle on the Cleveland Jewish News on Dec 19, 2002. This is seperate from the situation in Holland.
   Boycott Watch spoke to a spokesperson at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C. regarding this matter. We were informed that although there was an animal cruelty law problem in the method of ritual slaughter, the problem has since been resolved to the satisfaction of both the Jewish community and Dutch law.
Boycott Watch also received the following email. Although we were not able to confirm the authenticity of the signature, we are taking it at face value in context of our conversation with the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C.

   Please note that the whole message on ritual slaughtering in the Netherlands is UNTRUE. There has NOT been a ban on ritual slaughtering for Jews in the Netherlands at all. Ritual slaughtering for Jews continues as it has been for the past 400 years.
Ruben Vis Secr-Gen.
Organization of Jewish Communities in the Netherlands
   Click Here to read the letter from the Royal Netherlands Embassy and the Jewish Community Relations Council in New York City.
----- original story ------
 Summary: Holland bans Kosher processing of meat. While some emails have called for boycotts, the following article on says "Jews Unconcerned."
----- original announcement from ------
Holland Bans Shechitah - Jews Unconcerned
The government of Holland has banned kosher slaughter, becoming the sixth 
European country to do so. The local Agriculture Ministry informed Jewish 
community leaders there that they would no longer be permitted to slaughter 
cows in a kosher manner [shechitah] because of its "cruelty" to the animals. 
Deputy Foreign Minister Rabbi Michael Melchior, the former Chief Rabbi of 
Norway, says he is not convinced that concern for the animals is the real 
motivation behind the new regulation: "They simply don't want foreigners and 
they don't want Jews. I won't say that this is the only motivation, but it's 
certainly no coincidence that one of the first things Nazi Germany forbade 
was kosher slaughter. I also know that during the original debate on this 
issue in Norway, where shechitah has been banned since 1930, one of the 
parliamentarians said straight out, 'if they don't like it, let them go live 
somewhere else.'" 

Melchior also says the cruelty accusations against shechitah are simply untrue: 
"The Torah forbids cruelty to animals, and the shechitah process ensures that 
the animal loses consciousness immediately. We have been dealing with this 
issue for many years, and there are many scientific studies that back us up." 

M.E., a religious Jew from Holland, does not appear worried: "The main concern 
is whether there is kosher meat in the store or not... Of course the principle 
of the matter worries me. But I have heard on the inside that it was not done 
as a matter of policy, but rather just a few individuals who were able to 
convince the government to make this decision..."

Rabbi Melchior plans to organize a Foreign Ministry campaign to respond to the 
European lies being disseminated about the so-called cruelty involved in 
shechitah. He will also have to respond to such accusations here at home; MK 
Avraham Poraz of the anti-religious Shinui party has congratulated Holland on 
its decision, saying that shechitah is cruel. Melchior said, "It is certainly 
infuriating to see a respected Knesset Member plays into the hands of Jewish 
enemies and thus cause harm to the Jewish community in Europe. The lie that 
ritual slaughter is cruel simply shows a hatred for Jewish life." 
----- end of original announcement ------
Other sources of information on this topic:
January 31, 2002 (JTA) - Swiss group wants to bar kosher slaughter - By Fredy Rom -- Switzerland's Jewish community is gearing up for a fight with an animal rights group that wants to bar Jewish ritual slaughter.

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