MK Yulia Malinovsky (Yisrael Beytenu) excoriated the Chief Rabbinate of Israel Tuesday, during deliberations in the Knesset on a plan to reform the kashrut certification system in Israel, opening up kashrut supervision to competition.
Malinovsky, who chairs the Knesset’s Committee for National Infrastructure and Religious Services, accused the Chief Rabbinate’s kashrut certification department of assembling a “mountain of money” by maintaining a monopoly on kosher food certification.
During a stormy session of the committee Tuesday morning, Malinovsky also slammed Opposition parties over their refusal to back the kashrut reform being advanced by Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahane (Yamina).
“I understand the political needs of MKs from Shas. This reform will pass, and we will feel it in our pockets. For example, if we’d get rid of all communication systems except for Radio Tzafon, what would happen? How much would advertising and content cost? You get to control public opinion. For you, that’s great, but what about for the public.”
“Right now there is a monopoly. It raises prices and it leaves room for threats and pressure.”
“The kashrut reform is important for importers, for local religious authorities, and it is important for kashrut supervisors. The rabbinate is screeching ‘gevalt’ because someone threatens their interests. They’re not used to having the state dealing with this. But we’ll go all the way, I’m not afraid of them.”
“All of this pushback we’re hearing from interested groups is because they have a mountain of money and they don’t like it when someone gets involved in this field. So we’re going to take them on, directly.”