Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana’s controversial kashrus reform plan was approved by the Knesset’s Religious Services Committee on Wednesday, clearing the way for a full vote in the Knesset.
Five MKs on the committee, headed by a secular Yisrael Beiteinu MK, voted in support of the bill, and only one voted against it – UTJ MK Uri Maklev.
“It’s a black day,” Maklev said. “You may be finished here, but I’m only now beginning the battle. This is not kashrus. You didn’t consider civilian rights [for reliable kashrus] or religious rights in Eretz Yisrael. We’ll reach every child in the state to inform them that your kashrus is completely fake!”
“The approved Kashrus reforms… were formed with the pursuers of religion and those seeking to destroy the Rabbanut,” the UTJ party stated. “The statements professing that the reforms will benefit the consumers are deceitful and lacking any foundation. The opposite is true – kashrus consumers will pay a heavy and painful price – financial and moral – on the serious harm to the kashrus system advanced by Kahana and Lieberman.”
Later on Wednesday, dozens of mashgichim in Tel Aviv protested against the reforms, which will lead to many of them losing their jobs.
Attorney Rafi Malachi said: “The reform will destroy kashrus and will financially harm you and all Israeli citizens. It won’t improve the level of kashrus, it will raise the cost of living and leave thousands of families hungry.”
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) October 27, 2021
A number of senior Dati Leumi Rabbanim also protested against the kashrus reforms, writing a sharply worded letter against Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana and his reforms, and calling on MKs to vote against it.
The Rabbanim wrote in the letter that they met with Kahana and explained to him that it’s possible to significantly improve the kashrus system through three decisions, including the employment of mashgichim by the religious councils rather than by the establishments they are overseeing.
“[Kahana] heard our ideas but didn’t change anything in the plan, which has a goal of trampling the Rabbanut (like Lieberman and the left-wing MKs boast),” the letter states.
“We understood from him that he has no authority to change anything since he is obligated to parties that wish to uproot Judaism from Eretz Yisrael, to blur its Jewish identity and turn it into a state ‘of all citizens.'”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)