Israel has reacted with outrage to the decision of the Polish parliament to uphold a ban on ritual slaughter.
Citing animal cruelty, the parliament rejected a government backed bill to reinstate the right to produce meat in accordance with Jewish law.
The Polish Chief Rabbi has threatened to resign and Israel’s Foreign Ministry summoned Poland’s ambassador to register a formal protest.
Yigal Palmor, a spokesperson for Israel’s Foreign Ministry said: “We have received the news on the latest decision by the Polish parliament to ban Kosher slaughter with shock. I mean, we think it is appalling that Jewish life having been part and parcel of Polish history forever. Now Jews will be prohibited from performing one of their most ancient and important rituals.”
Polish farmers are also unhappy, providing animals for ritual slaughter generates some half a billion euros annually.
The President of the Farmers Union, Slawomir Izdebski, slammed the decision.
“This is a blow to the Polish economy and Polish farming. Of course the damage won’t be tomorrow or next week, but the consequences of the decision will be felt in six months to a year. The decision taken by parliament is pathetic.”
Israel said it does not normally get involved in other states internal business, but when Jewish religious practice is under threat it feels within its right to comment.