A menorah is decorated in front of Palace of Culture in Warsaw's downtown during Hanukkah, on December 28, 2005
A giant menorah is decorated with lights in front of the Palace of Culture in Warsaw's downtown during a ceremony for Hanukkah, on December 28, 2005. Israel said Monday a Polish ban on the ritual slaughter of livestock for food is "unacceptable" and a "blow" to Jewish tradition, calling on the parliament to review its decision. © Wojtek Radwanski - AFP/File
A menorah is decorated in front of Palace of Culture in Warsaw's downtown during Hanukkah, on December 28, 2005
AFP
Last updated: July 15, 2013

Israel rejects Polish ban on kosher slaughter

Israel said Monday a Polish ban on the ritual slaughter of livestock for food is "unacceptable" and a "blow" to Jewish tradition, calling on the parliament to review its decision.

The foreign ministry also summoned Poland's ambassador Jacek Chodorowicz to express its discontent, an Israeli official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"Israel is disappointed in the decision of the Polish parliament to forbid an important religious ritual which has been common practice among millions of Jews since ancient times," the ministry said in a statement.

The slaughter of animals for food -- a ritual among Jewish and Muslim communities -- has been banned in Poland since January 1 after a constitutional court ruled it was incompatible with animal rights law.

The government had sought to overturn the ban and sent a bill to parliament to that effect, but it was struck down on Friday in a move that angered the Jewish community, farmers and companies that export kosher meat to Israel and halal meat to Muslim countries.

The Israeli foreign ministry said the decision by the Polish parliament "to reject kosher slaughter in Poland is totally unacceptable.

"We call on the Polish parliament to review its decision and we expect the relevant parties to find a way to prevent this brazen blow to the religious tradition of the Jewish people."

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