In a meeting with the Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE) and representatives of European Jewish organizations, Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said that he would help convince his colleagues in the European Parliament to vote against the kosher labeling law when it comes for a vote in July.
The RCE thanked Prime Minister Ansip for his assistance on an issue of enormous importance for the European Jewish community. “Prime Minister Ansip’s support is vital on this issue and hopefully his strong and moral voice can set an example for other European leaders,” Rabbi Arye Goldberg deputy director of the RCE, said. “This isn’t an issue of animal welfare or humanitarianism, this is about the future of Jewish religious practice in Europe and we are delighted that Prime Minister Ansip understands the ramifications of this proposed legislation.”
Prime Minister Ansip and his delegation met with the RCE in Belgium, along with directors and representatives of European Jewish organizations and the Brussels Jewish community, including Bnai Brith and the European Centre for Jewish Students.
Various other issues were discussed during the meeting, including the role of Estonians during the Holocaust and Prime Minister Ansip’s affection for Israel where he visited before his election.
The RCE thanked Prime Minister Ansip for his friendship towards the Estonian Jewish community and his close cooperation with Chief Rabbi of Estonia, Shmuel Kot. It was also noted that the Estonian government will build a memorial for Jews that were killed during the Holocaust.
Also present were the Deputy Ambassador of Israel to the EU Mr. Ronen Gil Or, Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet, rabbi of Mill Hill congregation in London and chairman of the Rabbinical council of the UK, Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs from Holland, Rabbi Gershon M. Garelik founder and presidency member of the RCE and Rabbi Goldberg.
Rabbi Schochet expressed the Jewish community’s solidarity with the seven Estonians who were kidnapped while biking in Lebanon.
The meeting follows on from the RCE’s visit to Estonia during December of last year, where they met with various Estonian dignitaries, including Prime Minister Ansip, who has since been reelected to his position.