Pamela Geller Comes Out Against Kosher Laws

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Recently, my arch-nemesis Pamela Geller, who gives the fight against Islamist terrorism a bad name, denounced the good people who bring us Butterball turkeys for allowing their birds to be slaughtered according to Muslim custom. These halal birds, she said, are tortured in the name of Islam:

In a little-known strike against freedom, yet again, we are being forced into consuming meat slaughtered by means of a torturous method: Islamic slaughter.
Halal slaughter involves cutting the trachea, the esophagus, and the jugular vein, and letting the blood drain out while saying "Bismillah allahu akbar" -- in the name of Allah the greatest. Many people refuse to eat it on religious grounds. Many Christians, Hindus or Sikhs and Jews find it offensive to eat meat slaughtered according to Islamic ritual (although observant Jews are less likely to be exposed to such meat, because they eat kosher).

Well, Eric Kleefeld picked-up on something unusual about Gellers' description of halal slaughter (he tweeted about his discovery at @erickleefeld): The method used to kill a bird according to halal requirements is also the method used to slaughter a bird according to the dictates of kashrut, or the kosher laws. Geller's statement that "Jews are less likely to be exposed to such meat because they eat kosher" has to count as one of the most ridiculous things she has ever said. Jews who observe kashrut are eating birds whose tracheas have been cut. It's as simple as that. Her desire to blame Islam for anything and everything she dislikes blinds her to the contradictions, fallacies and lies built into her arguments.

Unless, of course, Geller was actually making an indirect critique of kashrut. If Geller is suggesting that the kosher laws are inhumane (I know people who might beileve this is so) then she should come out and say it. If she wants to attack Judaism, then she should just do so in a direct manner.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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