Toronto… The lives of a Canadian Jewish kosher store owner and his family were recently threatened following an anti-Israel protest outside Jewish-owned kosher businesses in the Toronto suburb of Thornhill. Jewish community leaders and rabbinical organizations are looking to governments to make kosher food establishments safer and off limits to social protests. They are also advocating stiffer penalties for obstructing access for kosher consumers. “This is not anti-Zionism — it’s a blatant act of antisemitic hate which must be condemned by everyone,” tweeted Canadian MP Melissa Lantsman. “You don’t come to a Jewish neighborhood and yell anti-Semitic tropes if it isn’t about hating Jews.”
Kosher establishments have long been targets of virulent anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist groups. Terror in kosher establishments goes back to 1982 when Goldenberg’s in Paris was hit. In 2015, Paris was again the target of an attack on a kosher establishment when terrorists went on a killing spree in the kosher Hypercacher supermarket. Many of the rabbis and community leaders reached by Kosher Today also expressed outrage that Ben & Jerry’s was objecting to the sale by parent company Unilever of the Ben & Jerry’s franchise in Israel because it sells ice cream in the “occupied territories.” One said: “There is no place for social or political policy in the sale of kosher food.” He continued: “Jews are entitled to eat food like everyone else and there is no excuse whatsoever to deny this fundamental human right.” Kashrus agencies wisely averted any direct involvement in the dispute which was in large measure driven by social media hatred. Ben & Jerry's issued a statement saying "while our parent company (Unilever) has taken this decision (to sell the Israeli franchise), we do not agree with it. We continue to believe it is inconsistent with Ben & Jerry's values for our [ice cream] to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.