A regional politician in Austria defended a plan to limit access to kosher meat, conditioning its sale on permits that would be individually issued to observant Jews.
The Wiener Zeitung daily reported Tuesday about the draft decree in the state of Lower Austria, one of nine states that make up the federal Republic of Austria. Gottfried Waldhäusl, the cabinet minister in the state government of Lower Austria who is in charge of animal welfare and several other portfolios, defended the plan as necessary “from an animal welfare point of view.”
Oskar Deutsch, the president of the Jewish Community in Vienna, warned that, in practice, the plan would require compiling a list of Jews, which he called “like a negative Aryan clause,” referencing racist laws passed by Nazi Germany and implemented in Austria after its merger with Germany in 1938.
The American Jewish Committee’s Berlin office also referenced Nazi decrees in opposing the plan. “Soon with a star on the chest?” a spokesperson for the group wrote on its official Twitter account. “This is an attack on Jewish and Muslim life! #Anti-Semitism.”