The High Court of Justice will soon hear a petition by an Israeli Arab meat importer against the Economy Ministry to be exempted from the state’s meat law, which makes importing meat contingent on obtaining a kashrut certificate from the Chief Rabbinate.
The petitioners argue that the law is tantamount to religious coercion of the Arab population. Adalah filed the petition in the name of the Ahmad Effendi meat company and other Christian and Muslim Arabs. The petition cited data showing the kashrut demands constituted an undue economic burden on the Arab importer, who has no interest in importing or selling kosher meat.
The petitioners assert that the demand of meeting kosher standards from the rabbinate costs on average 424,000 shekels ($110,400) monthly. Most of the costs ultimately get passed onto Arab consumers, who don’t keep kosher, or the company absorbs the costs, which leads to severe losses that turn imported meat into an economic burden.