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Eat, Drink + Think

Rabbi Warns Holland on Kosher Slaughter Ban

Israel’s leading rabbi has warned Dutch populist politician Geert Wilders that his party’s support for a ban of ritual slaughter of animals in the Netherlands is “anti-Semitic” and could drive away the country’s Jewish community.

Wilders rose to prominence in the Netherlands denouncing the growing influence of Islam in the West, calling for a ban against Muslim immigrants, a halt to the construction of mosques and a ban on Muslim face-veils.

Some of his most outspoken supporters are in the conservative, pro-Israeli movement in the United States. Wilders calls himself Israel’s “greatest friend” and has also proposed creating a national Dutch holiday to commemorate the victims of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

In a letter to Wilders on Tuesday, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters on Wednesday, Israel’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi, Yona Metzger, called on Wilders’ Freedom Party to stop backing a ban on ritual slaughter.

It is the strongest public condemnation yet of Wilders’ position on the policy and comes two weeks before the Netherlands holds a general election September 12 in which he is expected to take a sizeable portion of the vote.

Read more at Haaretz.com.

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