ADL Deeply Disturbed by European Court of Justice Decision Upholding Belgian Ban on Kosher Slaughter

New York, December 17, 2020 … ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) expressed deep concern following today’s ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) upholding a Belgian ban on kosher slaughter.  

“Just two weeks ago, the governments of the European Union member states collectively declared their ‘permanent, shared responsibility to actively protect and support Jewish life.’ Yet today, the European Court of Justice ruled that there is no protection for the fundamental Jewish practice of shechita, kosher slaughter,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. “Tolerance and protection of a safe religious practice, which may offend some, is the essence of religious freedom. Sadly, the ECJ has effectively declared that there is no room for observant Jewish people in the European Union.”

The court ruled that religious freedom is protected by the opportunity to import kosher meat from places with less regard for animals. In citing an ‘evolving societal and legislative context’ of concern for animal welfare, ‘a value to which contemporary democratic societies have attached increasing importance,’ the court implies that the Jewish practice is atavistic.

ADL will be consulting with the Jewish community in Belgium and other European countries on possible next steps

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of antisemitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of antisemitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.