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Polish Shechita Vote 'A Clear Violation of Religious Freedom"

Vote on ritual slaughter in Poland "was a clear violation of religious freedom, supported by ignorance of some and bigotry of others"
By Rina Tzvi
First Publish: 7/14/2013, 2:40 PM

Non- kosher restaurant
Non- kosher restaurant
israel news photo: Flash 90

 The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned Friday’s vote in the Polish parliament to prohibit kosher and halal slaughter.  The defeated bill would have allowed the practice of ritual slaughter to be conducted in a slaughterhouse.

“The majority of Polish MPs gave the Polish Jewish community three choices: don’t practice your religion, don’t eat meat, or don’t live among us,” said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman.

“For a country still struggling to come to terms with its past treatment of Jews, it is outrageous to strike such a blow to the future of Jews in Poland,” he said. “This vote was a clear violation of religious freedom, supported by the ignorance of some and the bigotry of others.  The debate demonstrated acceptance of the false premise that kosher slaughter, which involves a single cut with a razor-sharp knife to minimize pain, is less humane than slaughter with pre-stunning by electrocution, gassing or a bolt shot to the animal's forehead.”

“Bigotry also surely played a role in this vote.  Our regular polling of attitudes in Poland shows a consistently high level of anti-Semitism with almost half of Poles harboring multiple anti-Semitic prejudices,” he said..

Foxman concluded by expressing appreciation for “the votes and the voices of the large minority of MPs, who stood up for religious freedom.”

The organization previously urges Polish government to resolve the legal uncertainly over ritual slaughter and expressed concern about a ruling by Poland’s Constitutional Court that created such indecision.