Israeli court authorizes pork sales

June 14, 2004 at 7:33 AM

JERUSALEM, June 14 (UPI) -- Israel's High Court of Justice Monday suspended several towns' restrictions on the sale of pork.

Haaretz reported on its Web site the court's guidelines suggest pork may be sold in neighborhoods where it would hurt the sensitivities of only a negligible part of the population. Observant Jews consider pork offensive.

Israeli laws have restricted breeding of pigs and several municipal by-laws have prohibited sales. Friction over this issue has increased with the influx of immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

Criticizing the ruling, Eli Yishai, the head of the Jewish orthodox Shas Party, said: "The High Court has driven a central nail in the coffin of Jewish identity in the state."

However, Maariv quoted Knesset Member Roni Brizon, of the secular Shinui Party, as saying the ruling was "good and brave. ... The decision will have a profound effect on the attempts of the ultra-orthodox to take over secular neighborhoods."

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