UKIP’s interim leader wrote about Jewish lobbyists ‘playing the fascist card’

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UKIP’s interim leader wrote about Jewish lobbyists ‘playing the fascist card’

MEP Gerard Batten says shechita is “a dreadful Dark Age practice” and claims kosher meat was being sold to non-Jews to keep prices down

Gerard Batten
Gerard Batten

UKIP’s new interim leader recently wrote about Jewish lobbyists “playing the fascist card” in the debate on ritual slaughter and alleged that kosher meat was being sold to non-Jews to keep prices down.

Gerard Batten, a Member of the European Parliament who was elected as the interim leader of the nationalist anti-EU party this weekend, made the comments in an article about ritual slaughter published on 25 January.

The pamphlet, published on his website, contains disturbing imagery of a blood-soaked hand with the Magen David (Star of David) on it, leading online commentators to describe it as “Nazi-style”.

In it, Batten says kosher slaughter is “a dreadful Dark Age practice” and that while meat from animals killed without prior stunning “must only be sold or provided to Jews and Muslims” but that “70 percent of kosher meat is consumed by non-Jews”.

He adds: “It is fair to say that the ritually slaughtered meat-eating tail is wagging the non-ritually slaughtered meat-eating dog.”

Batten, the party’s seventh leader in two years, found himself defending past comments about Islam this week, as Jewish representatives expressed concern about his comments on ritual slaughter and its unsavoury undertones.

Referring to the European Parliament’s 2011 vote to make labelling of non-stunned meat mandatory, the new UKIP leader wrote: “Business and religious lobbyists soon put paid to that and it was withdrawn.”

He added: “Jewish pressure groups have also successfully lobbied the UK and EU Parliaments to resist labelling of meat, claiming that kosher prices could ‘rocket’ because buyers from the non-kosher market would stop buying it and therefore the price of kosher meat could double.”

Elsewhere, he wrote that Jewish lobbyists “claimed that [banning ritual slaughter] would be anti-Semitic,” adding: “The lobbyists unhesitatingly played the ‘fascist card’ and made much of the fact that both the Third Reich and Benito Mussolini banned ritual slaughter in the interests of animal welfare.”

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