“I can assure the Wallon Parliament’s Environment Committee Members that my community is sickened,’’ said Rabbi Menachem Margolin, head of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association (EJA), which represents thousands of Jews across Europe, as he blasted a Wallon (French speaking) Parliament Committee decision to effectively ban Kosher and Halal meat in Belgium.
Rabbi Margolin said he was astonished at the move and found it incredible that the Wallon parliament could take Mrs Le Pen policy threats and turn them into reality.
The Walloon Parliament’s Environment Committee decreed on Friday that all slaughter without stunning will be banned from September 2019. The Flemish parliament has also indicated that they wished to ban kosher slaughter by early 2019.The proposal will now be presented in May to the vote in the plenary of the Walloon parliament in Namur.
In a statement from Brussels, Rabbi Margolin said: “For too long in Europe Jewish people lived as second class citizens, depending on the goodwill of those in power, people that never really respected the Jewish People and their traditions. We assumed that these days were in the past given that EU legislation enshrines freedom of religion as a basic right. We were led to believe that this was intractable.
“I can assure the Walloon Environment Committee Members my community is sickened. More than this, what trust can we have from those in power when they renew a needless attack on the Jewish people and our way of life?
He said the community ‘’doesn’t intend to stand by and let this happen. We are resolute that the Jewish way of life, including Kosher slaughter, will be retained as an integral part of our personal freedom.”
Margolin told EJP that he ''he will be happy to know what are all the options.'' ''We will act accordingly.''
Philippe Markiewicz, President of the Central Jewish Consistory of Belgium, described Friday’s vote ‘’ a grave moment in the history of Belgian Jewry.’’ ‘’We have taken note of the vote, the Jewish community will take the measures it deems necessary,’’ he added. He deplored that the MPs didn’t granted three months more to the negotiation and denounced an interference of politics in religion.