There has been quite a few comments on this issue on Vlad. None of them agreeing with me whatsoever from any side. Just FWIW.
The National post just published this article as a sort of follow up on the previous one and I wish to take issue with much of what is said in it. Many of the comments on the previous post actually made some important points and if true, do change the equation somewhat. For example, if indeed the kosher method really does kill the animal with the same or less pain than the usual Western industrial methods, then it should be allowed based on that standard. But I cannot let rabbis say that this means ‘no Jews allowed’, as they do in this article, in Holland. It just means if they insist on eating only Kosher meat they have to be vegetarian or get the meat from Belgium. Life is about choices. Democracy makes laws for the public good now and again and while I do not agree with many of them, if they do not apply to all and exceptions can be made for the most irrational reasons, then there is no point in making them at all.
A few points:
The European Jewish Congress (EJC) announced it was considering taking legal action to block the ban, which it said violated the freedom of religion enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights.
OK I have not read the “European convention of Human Rights” but surely if it speaks of freedom of religion, that can’t give religious people the right to run roughshod over secular law, only freedom from state persecution so long as they do obey the laws. Freedom of religion was always meant to mean you can pray in whatever manner to whichever god. Surely to Aphrodite it wasn’t meant to mean you can earn yourself a free pass from democratic law because you declare your religion obliges you to certain actions. If it does, then I belong to the sacred church of holy Texas Colt and I demand the right to carry an operational .45 cal sidearm at all times. You know, like the Sikh’s carry a knife. To defend their religion. Well I want my Colt to defend mine. Can’t help it if now and again a criminal gets in the way and I need to use it for non religious purposes.
CER President Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt vowed to lobby against the bill, saying: “We will not rest until this discriminatory, intolerant and hateful bill is thrown out. We call upon the members of the Dutch Senate to use their constitutional powers to restore the dignity of their country.”
How is it “discriminatory, intolerant and hateful”? It just means Jews and Muslims have to 1. Eat non halal/Kosher meat when in holland or 2. Order out or 3. not eat meat. In no way does it say no Muslims or Jews allowed. This is about a behavior. There should also be laws saying no rapists allowed. Would we accept an argument from a religious group that advocated rape of non-members (not that there is such a group of course) that such a law was hateful and intolerant of them? What about smokers? I notice even liberal Holland has banned cigarettes from bars and restaurants? Is that hateful and intolerant? Why do people insist on using the word ‘discriminate’ like its a bad thing?
“We have passed the stage of arguing the nuances of intention of anti-Semitism,” he said. “The practical effects of this bill mean that Jews are no longer welcome in the Netherlands. This has not happened for 70 years.”
No. It does not mean that. It means Jews are as welcome as anyone else they just can’t slaughter animals in a way that contradicts Dutch animal welfare laws. It is not antisemitic whatsoever. Antisemitism is when you discriminate against Jewish people for no reason other than the label of being Jewish, whether they are religious or no, or have any actual behavioral trait with which a person may take issue. This is what differentiates between antisemitism and being anti-Islam. People who are Muslim and choose to abandon all that crap no longer are on the radar of people who do not like Islam. Jews are hated for being jews, by those that do, for no actual reason of belief, behavior or any other rational attribute. This is a critical distinction and why in fact, everyone needs to learn to discriminate. Discrimination is the whole purpose of reason.
Eeyore for Vlad.