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February 4, 2015 3:02 pm

British Anti-EU Party Roiled Over Opposition to Kosher Slaughter, Parliamentary Candidate Threatens to Resign

avatar by Ben Cohen

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Jeremy Zeid (center) has threatened to resign from UKIP over its stance against ritual slaughter. Photo: Twitter

A British parliamentary candidate has threatened to resign from from the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) over its support for a ban on slaughtering animals without pre-stunning, which would mean the outlawing of Jewish and Muslim methods of preparing meat fit for kosher and halal consumption.

Jeremy Zeid, a Jewish UKIP supporter who is standing for the party in the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Hendon, north-west London, described the announcement as a “monumental mistake,” the Jewish Chronicle reported.

“If it’s not reversed, if they insist, if they enforce pre-stunning, I would have to leave. If there was a ban on shechita and brit milah (the circumcision of 8 day old male Jewish infants,) I would resign immediately,” Zeid said. “I support shechita, it is moral and probably the most ethical method of slaughter. If I don’t stand up for fellow Jews, who else is going to?”

Zeid claimed that the policy, which is supported by a number of bodies, including the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals (RSPCA,) had been pushed by an unnamed UKIP member who did not consult with the party’s leadership. He added that a u-turn was imminent: “I think UKIP will come out and say there is no ban on shechita – they have to.”

However, Zeid also drew a distinction between kosher and halal slaughter. “We need to find a way to detach kosher from halal meat – they’re not the same,” he said. “Shechita is very quick, it’s the most humane method. The animals don’t see the knives, they’re very calm, it’s all over in two to three seconds.”

UKIP, which campaigns for British withdrawal from the EU and the prevention of further immigration into the UK, has rapidly established itself as political force in the country, after it won more votes than the Conservative and Labour parties in the 2014 European elections. The Jewish leadership in the UK remains suspicious of UKIP, having heavily criticized party leader Nigel Farage for allowing a far right Polish party with a history of Holocaust denial to join his grouping in the European parliament last October.

In parallel with the rise in antisemitism in Europe, there has also been a marked trend against Jews and Muslims carrying out ritual slaughter and circumcision in several countries, including Poland, Norway, Germany and The Netherlands. Support for measures to restrict religious freedom in these areas has been particularly strong among populist parties on both left and right.

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  • victoria brandeis

    nit piking …….. and, if we have to learn to kosher ourselves we all will do fine…..

    if you do not like what you see, live where you are living…..MOVE.

    silent,,,,empty spaces will definitely be noticed in time…..BE THE JEWS YOU ARE INSTEAD OF THE JEWS AMERICA MADE BRITAIN MADE….CANADA MADE ETC

    or become a vegetarian…..like the maze ..YOU ALL HAVE BECOME ‘CRANKS’

  • The present Conservative MP for Hendon, like the previous MP, has done an excellent job and deserves our communal support. There is a dark side to UKIP which is becoming more clear. Their one main issue is immigration and Conservatives are also committed to major changes, so there’s no need for UKIP. Conservatives are also committed to a vote on continued EU membership, UKIP’s number one issue.

  • julian Clovelley

    There is much about the manner in which meat is handled both by Halal and by Kosher butchers that is beneficial to the quality of the end product, but I find it hard to believe that pre stunning would affect that.

    So what we are dealing with is a religious rule – and frankly religious rules are frequently in modern times, ridiculous

    We all need to grow up. The slaughter of innocence in the Middle East goes on decade after decade, and so much of it is caused by conflicting cultures determined to live in backwardness. Hence the silly dress codes, the rites of male and female genital mutilation and the belief that you cannot humanely stun an animal before slaughtering it

    Europe is desperately trying to haul itself out of a religious backwardness originating in the Roman Empire. It doesn’t want to Islamicise it wants to secularise. But that is a transformation itself traumatic, as more and more people walk away from both Catholicism and Protestantism – sometimes through a revolving door of populist Evangelism and Pentecostalism.

    The transformation is fuelled by a recognition that the old order of classes is unsustainable – and indeed bad for Capitalism and enterprise – and that it was largely religion that kept the old order in place. There is a popular Victorian children’s hymn that goes:

    “The rich man in his Castle, The poor man at his gate,
    G-d made them high or lowly, And gave them their estate”
    (All Things Bright and Beautiful)

    That verse is rarely sung now. Both Feudalism and Bourgeois Capitalism depended heavily on religion to validate their power structures, Reagan-Thatcherism was the last failed attempt to secularise a class based Capitalism. Europe is moving towards a more rational Private Enterprise Economics. Religion with its hierarchic structures and irrationality stands in the way of that evolution

    We all have to grow up. The religious laws we have were all a product of mythology not of history. Both Christianity and Judaism depend on the historicisation of mythology. We cannot pretend forever that the Exodus happened, that the dietary laws and genital mutilation laws were Divinely imposed or that the execution of Jesus “Atoned” for the sins of the world. That determination to fly in the face of the real history of human development condemns humanity to unending cultural strife. With the horrors of the twentieth century and its pseudo religious Fascist and Nazi Cults and with the revelations of monumental levels of sexual abuse within the churches ordinary Europeans have had enough

    My call is to the leaders of Judaism – grow up and accept this minor incursion into mythological law codes. Stop the silly fuss and accept the humane stunning of animals prior to slaughter. Remember what Nazi propaganda made by lying about Kosher rules. Don’t give any future wave of antisemitism the material needed to slander people who choose to call themselves Jews. For Judaism to survive – with so many people walking out, just as they do from Christianity – it has to go through a radical re-appraisal and recognition, of the role of myth and the impediment to base the belief system on reasoned ethics and morality, and the concept of righteousness, rather than pretend they were handed to mankind on stone tablets, through Divine contact and prophecy, Golden Plates, Incarnation etc from hundreds to thousands of years ago.

    They evolved… Consciousness does that – it needs to again – or rather it is!

  • Eric R.

    UKIP is probably the only rightist party in Europe with which Jews can feel comfortable, as it is more a Libertarian party with nationalist leanings, rather than basically an ethno-nationalist party with big government leanings, like the National Front or Austrian People’s Party.

    Farage is sympathetic to Jews and Israel, so I seriously doubt this would come from him.