Monday, September 06, 2010

News from New Zealand about the so-called shchita ban

Norman Kabak writes
As a resident of Wellington, NZ and keenly interested in the Shechita ban. I would like to make a comment or two.
The Minister of Agriculture single handedly instituted the ban, although there has been a temporary reprieve until the court case brought by the NZJC (New Zealand Jewish Community) board is heard by the Hight Court. All the advice received by the Minister was to leave the Jewish community alone. He ignored all of that advice. So this seems to prove that it is not a case of anti-antisemitism.
There is a much more complex reason for the ban, in my opinion, and that deals interestingly enough with foreign trade. But first let me say that Halal slaughter here in New Zealand is done by first stunning the animal and then slaughtering it. There are many Muslim countries that do not accept this method, Saudi Arabia being one of them.

Saudi Arabia wants to import NZ lamb that will not be stunned first. They want to import lamb for the Haj, a major pilgrimage event for millions of Muslims. The Minister of Trade and Commerce, some time in mid May went there to conclude a trade agreement, and came back saying that " the agreement is just waiting for a paragraph to be re translated and the ink should be dry as we speak". The agreement has yet to be signed. Now, some very clever Saudi found out that the Jewish community does slaughter without stunning, and so demanded  the same conditions for Halal slaughtered lamb for export to Saudi Arabia. In order to save face, the Minister of Agriculture came to the rescue of his friend the Minister of Trade and so declared that all slaughter must be proceeded by stunning. This writer recently went to the United States on a mission to gather forces to put political pressure on Congress by lining up some major Jewish organizations asking them to speak to the "Powers that Be" and see if the NZ government might change its mind on the banning issue. There is much, much more behind the scenes, but time is short and so let me wish all a Shanah Tovah.

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