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Israel Parliament Rejects Request for Debate on ‘religious Coercion’

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The Parliament today rejected a motion for a full-dress debate on “religious coercion in Israel.” The motion was introduced by Victor Shemtov, a deputy of the leftist Mapam, who cited the failure of secular elements to obtain non-Sosher kitchens at public occupations and the extension of rabbinical supervision over sea and air travel. He also cited the demand of the Israeli rabbinate for rabbinical supervision on El Al planes in transit and the refusal to permit a non-kosher kitchen on the SS Chalom which is now under construction in a French shipyard.

Dr. Zorah Warhaftig, the Minister for Religious Affairs, categorically denied any intention to appoint kashrut supervisors on national airlines. He said the current controversy involved only a request to permit one rabbinical supervisor, at the expense of the rabbinate, to inspect overseas catering and dishwashing arrangements at foreign airports.

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