The Adalah Arab-Israeli human rights organization and Israeli-Arab businessmen have petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court for the right to import treif meat. At present, all meat imported into Israel must have the hechsher of the rabbinate due to a kashrus law introduced by Shas in 1994.
The petitioners claim that the rabbinate kashrus costs the Israeli Arab public and import companies over $100,000 monthly, yet provides absolutely no benefit to them and is thus a form of religious coercion.
“Arab citizens are forced to buy and consume imported meat, and must consume meat whose method of slaughtering… are forced upon them because of the implementation of Orthodox Jewish…,” said attorney Sawson Zaher, who is representing the petitioners.
The petition noted that certain halacha related laws such as prohibitions against raising pigs or selling chometz on Pesach already do not apply in areas where most of the populace are non-Jews, and pointed out that that minorities are sometimes exempt from such laws overseas. In Canada, for example, Jews who want to build sukkos on their balconies are exempt from a bylaw which forbids building structures on balconies.
If the Supreme Court accepts the petition, there is little doubt that the cheaper Muslim meat will end up in the kitchens of many secular Jews. Indeed, because the kashrus laws allow the PA to import hallal meat, large amounts of PA meat offloaded at ports mysteriously find their way into the Israeli market.
David Steger – Matzav.com Israel