In a chain letter circulating around Eretz Yisrael, a letter estimated to have reached tens or even hundreds of thousands of people, the secular community is seeking to launch a boycott of products that bear the supervision of the Eida Chareidis.
The letter mentions a number of points found objectionable by many, including non-service in the IDF, segregated mehadrin buses, chareidi education funding from the state, and discrimination against members of the Ethiopian community to mention a few. Special mention was also given to the dispute surrounding the bones discovered at the building site of Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital. It appears the latter was the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’.
The chain email instructs those willing to support the effort to seek out the Eida logo, which appears on many products from major firms such as Telma and Osem, and to put those products back on the shelf, to simply boycott them.
“The Eida Chareidit is a small organization numbering several thousand people”, the email explains, an organization that is “adamantly opposed to Zionism and stands behind most fanatic chareidi actions”. The letter points out that unlike the general chareidi population, the Eida and its followers make a point of boycotting the state and the time has come to reciprocate. The letter correctly adds that the Eida is the single largest private kashrut supervision in the State of Israel and organizers are calling for a boycott.
Seeking to enlist supporters, the letter explains the Eida’s kashrus is costly, and these costs are passed to consumers while the handsome profits remain in the hands of the Eida and its community.
Undoubtedly, one impetus for the boycott was an article written by prominent journalist Nachum Barnea in Yediot Achronot, stating the Eida is racking in big bucks and using the money to burn Israeli flags. In essence the boycott letter explains, the secular majority is funding the anti-Zionist efforts and actions of the Eida Chareidit by buying products with its logo on it.
Therefore, shoppers are now urged that in addition to check the price, weight, expiration date of a product, to also check the kashrut logo and if the Eida Chareidit appears, place it back on the shelf.
The organizers are serious, and they hope to send a clear and financially potent message to food manufacturers – that working with the Eida simply does not pay.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)