Greece Bans Shechita: “Jewish Freedom Of Religion Is Under Direct Attack”

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Illustrative. HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Eliezer Stern of Bnei Brak inspects the shechita process in "MiluOf" in northern Israel.

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The Greek Supreme Court outlawed shechita on Wednesday, a move predicted by Jewish leaders following the ruling of the European Union’s court last year upholding similar bans.

Last December, the European Court of Justice ruled that member countries are permitted to ban shechita for the sake of animal welfare without infringing on the rights of religious groups.

The Greek ruling was in response to a petition filed by the Panhellenic Animal Welfare and Environmental Federation.

“We warned in December about the downstream consequences that the European Court of Justice ruling carried with it, and now we see the outcome,” said Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chairman of the European Jewish Association, which is based in Brussels. “Jewish freedom of religion is under direct attack. It started in Belgium, moved to Poland and Cyprus and now it is Greece’s turn.”

“These direct attacks are coming from many of the same governments and institutions who have sworn to protect their Jewish Communities. What we are witnessing is rank hypocrisy. When it comes to antisemitism, governments and institutions rightly stand behind us. But when our faith and practice is assailed left and right by laws, they are nowhere to be seen, nowhere to be found. What use is it to protect Jews while legislating fundamental pillars of our religion out of existence?”

“We will be urgently making representations to the highest levels of the Greek government to get direct answers to this simple but fundamental question: How can there be Jews in Europe if you keep bringing laws against us?”

In the opinion of the Greek court, “there should be ways” to satisfy animal rights activists and the religious needs of Jews and Muslims.

“The government should regulate the issue of slaughtering animals in the context of worship in such a way as to ensure both the protection of animals from any inconvenience during slaughter and the religious freedom of religious Muslims and Jews living in Greece,” the court stated.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


9 COMMENTS

  1. I have a feeling that this is a result of anti-Muslim attitudes that cannot be expressed directly in the polite EU society, and the Jews got hit at the same time. Maybe European Jews will have to choose between mail-ordering meat and walking safely to shul.

  2. So, when Moshiach comes there will be no Shchita either. Animals will never be afraid of being killed by anyone. Lions will graze with lambs etc.

  3. “to ensure both the protection of animals from any inconvenience during slaughter”

    Azoy. There will be a special mashgiach at every shlachthois in Greece whispering into the ear of the cow that the shochet apologizes in advance for any “inconvenience” incurred while slitting his throat….

  4. ader, what kind of nonsense are you prattling about? There will certainly be shechita when Moshiach comes. Not only will we continue to eat meat, but there will also be the korbanos. Even vegetarians will be forced to eat a kezayis of meat at the seder, and if they refuse the beis din will beat them until they agree.

  5. Ultimately this may be a good thing. If the Muslims leave Europe, it would definitely be good (except for the fact that they will probably come to the US). And if the frum Jews get out of there, it would be a great thing, since as we know, most of Europe’s land is soaked with Jewish blood. They’d mostly probably go to Israel, which would be good for frum yidden there…