Denmark, Kashrut, and Anti-Semitism
by Michael Widlanski
Centuries after Shakespeare said “Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark,” we have hard proof of a big stink in Denmark and nearby Scandinavian countries.
Only days after Denmark passed a racist law banning kosher butchers, supposedly because Kosher meat slaughtering is “cruel to animals,” Danish authorities showed everyone what real cruelty to animals is.
The Danish Zoo took a healthy young giraffe – named Marius – shot him in the brain with a bolt gun, dissected his body in front of a crowd of children, and then fed pieces of the carcass to the zoo’s lions. Television cameras caught the happy lions at their meal.
Sounding a bit like Nazis, Danish Zoo authorities said they had to kill the giraffe for the sake of racial purity – to protect the genetic lines of their giraffes. They added that the zoo needed lebensraum -living room – space for other, purer giraffes.
They also justified the murder of the giraffe for the sake of the hungry lions. Not since the Roman Empire has there been such governmental concern for the feeding of lions.
“Our giraffes are part of an international breeding program, which has a purpose of ensuring a sound and healthy population of giraffes,” Bengt Holst, scientific director at Copenhagen Zoo, told CNN. He explained that there was not enough room at the zoo for giraffes with inferior bloodlines.
Danish authorities rejected appeals from tens of thousands of people who asked that the zoo find a less-than-final solution for the problem of a genetically inferior giraffe, for example sending him to another zoo, or to nature reserve.
The Danish Giraffe Murder shows Danish hostility to kosher slaughter to be both dumb and hypocritical; the Danes, like the Swedes and the Norwegians, only take pity on those animals being eaten by Jews. Otherwise, they will happily shoot anything that moves.
When Danish, Swedish and Norwegian boys reach their teens, they are often presented with a shotgun or a rifle, and taken by their fathers to kill their first deer or elk.
When Jewish boys reach 13, they learn to read part of the Bible. Jews get gifts ranging from pens to tablet computers.
Religious Jews slaughter animals only to feed themselves, and use a very sharp knife under very strict procedures specifically designed to eliminate animal suffering.
Many houses in Denmark, Norway and Sweden have animal heads on the walls as trophies. This custom is not often seen in Jewish circles.
Scandinavian countries also have laws barring Jewish circumcision, claiming that the practice is cruel to children, though there is clinical proof circumcision reduces many diseases (in men and women), from sexual diseases to cervical cancer. There is much evidence that circumcision by the Jewish timetable (the eighth day) is largely safe and relatively pain-free. Circumcision at a later time in life is more dangerous and complicated.
Limiting kosher slaughter and circumcision has now spread to other European countries, such as Holland. The Council of Europe passed a resolution in October calling on European Union states to “adopt specific legal provisions to ensure that certain operations and practices will not be carried out before a child is old enough to be consulted.”
Nevertheless, many Jews are not impressed by claimed European concern for the suffering of Jewish children, remembering just how many non-Jewish Europeans came to the rescue of defenseless Jews during the past century, especially during the Holocaust.
It seems the real motive for Scandinavian laws against kosher meat and circumcision is simple anti-Semitism or Jew-hatred. These laws are not linked to pain felt by defenseless animals or children, but rather by a desire to inhibit Jewish communities and, more recently, Islamic communities that also have ritual slaughter of animals and circumcision.
After all, in Europe, persecuting Jews is always kosher, and the Jews will sooner or later leave Europe rather suffer the fate of that Danish giraffe who was found to be genetically inferior.
The author, visiting professor at UC Irvine and an expert on Arab politics and communications, is the author of Battlefor Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat, published by Threshold/Simon and Schuster. He is a former reporter, correspondent and editor respectively at The New York Times, Cox Newspapers, and The Jerusalem Post, and he served as strategic affairs advisor in Israel’s Ministry of Public Security.
This article was originally published by The Jerusalem Post.